Independent Journalists’ Association of Vojvodina

Summary of organization’s strategic orientation

Independent Journalists’ Association of Vojvodina (IJAV) is a professional association dedicated to the improvement of the journalistic profession and the protection of journalists. It undertakes various activities to influence the respect for the right to freedom of expression and information, as well as legislative regulations in the field of media. IJAV is the oldest independent journalists’ association in the former Yugoslavia and currently has more than 600 members. Established in 1990 in Novi Sad, it briefly scaled back its activities after the political changes in 2000 but quickly resumed them in 2004.

The association plays a vital role in promoting media freedom and civil society collaboration in Serbia and the post-Yugoslav region. It is a member of the Coalition for Media Freedom and one of the founders of the Association of Online Media of Serbia, as well as the coalition Civil Vojvodina. IJAV is present in most professional teams (both in Serbia and the EU) tasked with forming media policies. Additionally, it actively participates in the reconciliation processes in the post-Yugoslav region and maintains long-term collaborations with numerous media organizations and civil society entities in Serbia and the region. It is a member of the Permanent Working Group for the Safety of Journalists in Serbia.

IJAV actively shapes media policy in Serbia, contributing to the development of the Public Information System Strategy (2011–2016 and 2020–2025) and its action plans. Examples of IJAV ‘s dedicated work in shaping the media landscape include initiatives that prompted the creation of action plans for implementing media laws at the local level. They have also been involved in drafting other documents and leading processes aimed at improving the position of the journalistic profession. In the realm of public advocacy, IJAV particularly focuses on civil society media and the position of journalists and media in multiethnic environments, primarily in the province of Vojvodina. In this regard, IJAV has conducted numerous research studies and analyses, providing recommendations and initiating legislative changes. Some of these initiatives have been incorporated into the Media Strategy, with a significant part of the strategy on informing minorities relying on IJAV ‘s expertise. Additionally, due to IJAV’s initiative, the status of civil society media was first regulated in the current draft of media laws.

In an increasingly challenging media context, IJAV has taken on the role of a strong critic of systemic flaws related to the media sphere. It points out the poor enforcement of laws and highlights shortcomings in media privatization processes, journalist safety, censorship, and the economic strain on media. In response to these challenges, IJAV has refocused its efforts on protecting journalists from political pressure, especially at the local level, where pressures and issues are significantly stronger and more visible. The organization also works on enhancing the capacities of civil society media overall.

Simultaneously, IJAV has intensified its work in informing and educating citizens, recognizing that well-informed and media-literate citizens are essential for democratic changes. Such citizens can make decisions in the interest of the entire community and public good. In addition to its regular activities, the association works with its membership, offering various services such as free legal aid, expertise in the establishment of civil society media, and more, with the aim of continuously influencing the environment in which journalists work and empowering them.

Through all these processes, IJAV has become a resource center and a gathering place for the media community. It remains a professional journalistic organization that persists in the fight for press freedom while also engaging in a broad platform for human rights protection.


Citizens of Vojvodina/Serbia, Journalists and media workers, Community media, diverse Media Association, Civic Society Organization, as well organizations in Public Sector.