The Association of Journalists of El Salvador (APES) was born in 1936. It is the main and most recognised association that represents journalists, workers from public and private institutions – who are not journalists – and even academics. Despite being the most important institution, the APES does not aggregate the majority of Journalists in El Salvador. In fact, most journalists do not belong to any association.
The APES is responsible for producing reports on freedom of expression, denouncing attacks against the press, and delivering journalism awards – in some occasions, awarded to employees of political parties.
Currently, they are also working in the creation of the Bureau for the Protection of Journalists and Workers Related to Information Activities. This initiative is supported by the Office of the Procurator for the Defense of Human Rights (PDDH in Spanish) as well as representatives from association of journalists and workers from media related to information, universities and human rights defenders. One of the main objectives of the Bureau is the formulation of a Law of Integral Protection for Journalists, in labor and emotional safety. They also propose the creation of an early warning system to protect their members. Finally, the bureau proposes a registry that allows them to monitor the safety situation for journalists and make recommendations to authorities. With this they hope to avoid reaching horrible situations such as journalists killings like those of the neighbouring countries of El Salvador.
There is also another organisation, the Asociación de Periodistas Independientes de El Salvador (Association of Independent Journalists of El Salvador - ASPIES), with little representation and formed, again, by journalists, communicators and other professionals outside the journalistic profession.
Private companies owning most of the radios and television channels are represented in the Salvadoran Association of Broadcasters (ASDER in Spanish). The association has worked as a political instrument to defend the commercial interests of large media companies.
The Consejo Nacional de la Publicidad (National Advertising Council - CNP) is responsible for ensuring the ethical advertising code that appears in the media. The CNP is private, and it is composed by the Asociación Nacional de Anunciantes de El Salvador (National Association of Advertisers of El Salvador - ANAES), the Asociación Salvadoreña de Agencias de Publicidad (Salvadoran Association of Advertising Agencies - ASAP) and the Asociación Salvadoreña de Medios Publicitarios (Salvadoran Association of Advertising Media - ASMP).