The world’s oldest news agency, Agence France-Presse, has opened a foundation to train reporters in developing countries and promote higher standards in journalism.
The Paris-based academy – which is run independently from AFP and has its own budget – was officially opened yesterday and will be run by the agency’s deputy managing director, Robert Holloway.
It will offer a series of journalism workshops in English, French, Arabic and Spanish, taught by a mixture of senior AFP journalists and outside experts.
The objective is similar to that of the Reuters Foundation, which was created in 1982 and trains several hundred journalists a year in international news, photojournalism, business, environment and health issues.
“Our job is not to be a crusading enterprise,” Holloway said. “We are only there to train and to raise professional standards.”
The AFP Foundation will also organise seminars to debate press freedom and ethics, and has pledged to help improve working conditions for journalists.
“The philosophy underlying our work is that those who benefit from training should be able to pass on what they have learned to their colleagues and to younger generations,” Holloway said.
“We see it as part of our mission to teach those who may become tomorrow’s teachers.”
Agence France-Presse was founded in 1835 and is one of the three biggest news agencies in the world, alongside the Associated Press and Reuters.