Reporters Without Borders

Income and expenditure

Published on Monday 7 September 2009.
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State of accounts at 31 December 2008 | Use of funding

The organisation’s finances in 2008 were marked by the end of the campaign (begun in 2001) over the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games which significantly affected income and expenditure.

They were also affected by acquisition of new Paris headquarters. Expenditure on this in 2007 was less than the amount budgeted because the move did not take place until September 2007 and the cost of it in 2008 came to €285,000. A similar cost should recur in the budgets of the next few years, as the transaction is funded by a 20-year bank loan.

The 2007 surplus was boosted by €1,304,000 from the transfer of all unspent dedicated funds from previous years to a “money for projects” heading under self-generated funding.

The combined income of Reporters Without Borders and Reporters Without Borders International in 2008 was €4,874,443 and expenditure €5,003,261, making a deficit of €128,818.

All figures here are based on budgetary execution to make them clearer and also easier to compare year-on-year.
(more on 2008 figures)

The main work of Reporters Without Borders is research and publicity campaigns to expose media freedom violations and lobby the international media with the goal of freeing imprisoned journalists, helping censored papers to publish and ensuring those responsible for serious abuses against media workers are punished.

Research involves collecting and analysing information about media freedom violations around the world, organising fact-finding missions and monitoring the plight of journalists in prison.

When media freedom is seriously threatened in a country, Reporters Without Borders sends fact-finding and assistance missions to learn more about working conditions for the media there, investigate cases of imprisoned or murdered journalists and meet with the authorities.

The assistance fund enables us to give emergency medical, legal or material aid to journalists and media outlets in difficulty.

Publicity campaigns work to inform the public and put pressure on governments which do not respect to right to report the news and to be kept informed of events.

Two annual reports, the worldwide press freedom roundup and the press freedom index – measure the amount of freedom journalists and the media have. They have become key references for everyone concerned about this issue.

We published three books of photographs in 2008 – on 3 May (World Press Freedom Day), in September and on 10 December (Jailed Journalists Support Day and International Human Rights Day).

The big increase in the cost of day-to-day operations is because of the higher subsidy by the French branch to Reporters Without Borders International and the cost of buying our new headquarters.

Purchase of “Beijing 2008” t-shirts, the symbol of the Olympic Games protest, appears under the publicity campaigns heading.

Self-generated funding (excluding grants and member dues)

This rose 28% in 2008, to €3,291,851, and accounted for 68% of our total income (up from 58% in 2007).

It came from:

  • Sales of three books of photographs (plus advertising in them) and three year-end calendars. These proceeds were down 24% from 2007 and accounted for 59% of self-generated funds. 160,000 copies of the books were sold in 2008-09, compared with 225,000 in 2007-08, and advertising income from them fell 30% (after deductions), to €333,000 from €475,000.
  • Income from the use of the Reporters Without Borders name on various products and from the Beijing 2008 t-shirts. This totalled a substantial €1,354,225 (41% of self-generated funds) and was due to public enthusiasm and international support for the Beijing campaign.

Private donors

Donations by French and foreign private foundations and firms were less than in 2007 mainly due to lack of once-off contributions. In 2007, we had sponsorship from the Chti guide to the Lille region of France and the prize money of the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy’s 2006 Asia Democracy and Human Rights Award. Private company donations also fell in 2008 because of non-renewal of a special €100,000 grant made in 2007.

The main companies helping Reporters Without Borders in 2008 were Sanofi Aventis and the French distribution firm CFAO. Private foundations included the the Sigrid Rausing Trust, the Overbrook Foundation, the Center for a Free Cuba and the US National Endowment for Democracy.

Private donations accounted for 10% of the combined Reporters Without Borders income, down from 20% in 2007.

Public grants

These were 6% of the total budget (down from 9% in 2007) and came from the French prime minister’s office, the French foreign ministry, the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, the European Commission and UNESCO.

Some partners provide vital assistance in kind

The books of photographs are made possible by a network of partners:

The French organisations NMPP, SNDP and UNDP and the Relay and Interforum Editis press-handling firms distribute the books free of charge.

France Loisirs takes no commission to sell them to its members through its bookshops and in its catalogue.

The books are also sold by the French leisure chains and supermarkets Fnac, Carrefour, Casino, Monoprix and Cora, the websites, and, as well as A2Presse and more than 300 bookshops throughout France.

The advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi designs and conducts all the Reporters Without Borders publicity campaigns free of charge.

Many media outlets give us valuable help throughout the year with free advertising for our publicity campaigns.

See 2007 accounts




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