Maison des journalistes : in the name of Freedom of the Press and Freedom of Expression in a large sense, the Maison des journalistes (MDJ) welcomes and guides media professionals exiled in France.
A utopia come reality, the Maison des journalistes is a non-profit organization based in Paris, France. Founded in 2002 by journalist Danièle Ohayon and director Philippe Spinau, the Maison des Journalistes (MDJ) has a unique and concrete initiative. Its mission: defending fundamental values and free information in the world by welcoming and guiding media professionals recently finding refuge in France.
Today chaired by Christian Auboyneau and directed by Darline Cothière, the organization articulates its actions around 3 guiding principles, with the support of businesses, ministers, public administration, regional governments and media personalities.
Darline Cothière, director of the Maison des journalistes summarizes the spirit and the objectives of the association :
« The MDJ represents a sort of barometer between the situation of the press in the world. In this unique place, there are women and men of different nationalities, from different cultures and trajectories living side by side. Beyond this diversity, these journalists all have the experience of exile and repression in common. The MDJ helps them to rebuild themselves and to continue their mobilization in favor of Freedom of the Press. »
1) Welcoming and guiding refugees
The Maison des journalistes (MDJ) has a building with 14 bedrooms in Paris. These rooms allow the MDJ to welcome media professionals forced to leave their respective countries. They can stay here for the time necessary to obtain refugee status.
The exiled journalists living at the MDJ benefit from cultural and social guidance (administrative procedures, financial and material aid, access to training workshops, french courses, invitations to discover their host country via professional and cultural visits). A support which, if needed, continues after their stay at the MDJ (residence, accomodations, professional relationships,…)
2) Participating in the development of diversified news
Exiled journalists are featured in an online journal to allow them to fully continue producing written and audiovisual information with the website L’Oeil de la Maison des Journalistes. Created by the MDJ, this online journal gives each journalist the opportunity to express themselves according to their skills and points of interest.
3) Contribution to youth awareness regarding the challenges of Freedom of the Press
Carrying the values it defends, the MDJ undertook, since 2006, an intitiative to raise youth awareness and education of the media : Renvoyé Spécial and Presse 19 . For a number of years, the MDJ has gone to educate middle schoolers, high schoolers, university students or young adults in trouble with support from the Ministers of Education, Culture and Justice.