Media development organisations

Media development organisations are considered emerging to life in Iraq. Many of them were established shortly after the US invasion in 2003 and funded by the international organisations working in the field of media.

The first Iraqi journalists' association was established in 1959 under the name Iraq Journalists Syndicate (IJS) and its first president was Muhammad Al-Jawahiri (d 1997), the famous Iraqi poet. It was a non-governmental organisation managing and coordinating journalists and their affairs.

When the Ba'ath party took over authority in Iraq, IJS became a government-related organisation and in the 1990s it was run for some years by Uday (d 2003), the oldest son of Saddam Hussein. After 2003, the syndicate still exists and its current president is MoaidAllami. But as it is still governmental, many journalists who rejected the notion, founded another syndicate called National Union of Iraqi Journalists in January 2013, which is run by Adnan Hussein, the editor in chief of the local newspaper Al-Mada.

Several organisations emerged after 2003 such as the Journalist Freedoms Observatory (JFO), the Iraqi Journalists' Rights Defense Association (IJRDA), the Press Freedom Advocacy Association in Iraq and Metro Center. These organisations are working with the support of international organisations such as IMS, MICT, "Internews" and CFI.

After 2003, the country has opened up to media and dozens of television channels, newspapers, magazines and radio stations were founded. Some are independent, others belong to political parties. The most prominent channels and news sites owned by political parties are: Asia, Altaghyir, Rasheed, Alahad, Dijla, Furat, Falluja, Beladi, Rudaw, Afaq and Alatjah. On the other hand Sumaria, Al-Sabah, Aljaded, Iraq News Network, Nasiriyah News Network, Iraqi Network Press, Al-Marbid channels and news sites that are independent, and there are channels and news sites affiliated to the state such as Iraqia and Sabah.

Since then, journalists have had more freedom to work compared to when the media were state-owned and there was no room for criticism.

But placing restrictions on press freedom has remained common after 2003, especially after the emergence of free media talking about the real problems such as: The many challenges Iraqi journalists are facing; the fact that some of them lack the experience that is necessary to write neutrally; the worries related to attacks by armed groups, as well as threats from officials to journalists because they do not accept what media talk about.

Murders and kidnappings of journalists increased after 2003, for this reason the media organisations focused their work primarily on discussing these attacks with issuing regular and intensive data and statistics on the issue, and secondly on developing the work experience in media through intensive workshops carried out by organisations inside and outside the country, which contributed to an extent in increasing the experiences of local journalists.