International Association of Independent Journalists (Canada)

Founded by Canadian journalist Maurice Ali in 2003, the International Association of Independent Journalists operates as a nonprofit group for individuals who fall outside of the conventional definition of journalism. Given that many independent journalists have struggled for recognition of their skills by businesses, governmental entities, prominent public figures and others who might not understand a lack of formal credentials from an established group, corporation, union or guild and given that some freelance reporters have been unable to obtain legally recognized credentials in repressive jurisdictions, the IAIJ has sought to remove barriers for these journalists by providing a venue for publication of reports and opinion pieces. A sister organization, the International Archiving Of Independent Journalists, provides verification and recognition as a journalist for amateurs and professionals in need of formal credentials for improved access to information from typical sources of news such as governmental entities.

The IAIJ's inclusive charter and heavy focus on citizen journalism are inspired by a section of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that includes a declaration of support for freedom of expression for all individuals. In 2011, the group gained status as an institutional member of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. The IAIJ, which maintains offices in Toronto and London and is registered as a nonprofit group in Canada, draws the great bulk of its funding from the annual dues paid by several hundred members.

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