The Rise and Fall of the International Organization of Journalists Based in Prague 1946–2016

The Rise and Fall of the International Organization of Journalists Based in Prague 1946–2016

By Kaarle Nordenstreng

This is a unique account of the history of what was once the world’s largest association in the media field – its gradual expansion from a post-World War II fraternity of professional journalists in some 20 countries to a vast organization in the late 1980s, covering 300,000 journalists in 120 countries, and running several schools of journalism, a publishing house, a conference service and various commercial companies in Czechoslovakia and Hungary. However, after the outbreak of the Cold War in the late 1940s, most national unions of journalists in the western countries remained outside the IOJ, while it extensively covered journalists in the socialist East and developing South. Hence, the book provides an exciting chapter on the history of the Cold War and the fall of the socialist regimes in Europe, which also led to the demise of the IOJ.

The book is subtitled Useful Recollections Part III, referring to two earlier volumes of excursions into the history of the international movement of journalists, published in the 1980 by the IOJ and focusing on the prehistory of the IOJ and its own history of the first 20 years. This volume covers the entire history of the IOJ’s 70 years of existence.

The author served as President of the IOJ for 14 years during its heyday and in the crucial year 1990, when the Soviet-led communist order in central-eastern Europe was replaced by new western oriented regimes, also among journalists. In addition to a chronological account of the organization, the book includes testimonies by several key actors inside and outside the IOJ and comprehensive appendices containing so far unpublished documents.


Part One – History of the IOJ

  1. Prehistory 1984-1945
  2. Founding 1946-47
  3. Turmoil in the Cold War 1948-53
  4. Consolidation 1954-66
  5. Expansion 1966-75
  6. Keeping pace with a new world order 1976-80
  7. Persevering in a new Cold War 1981-85
  8. Heyday 1986-89
  9. Disintegration 1990-97
  10. Demise 1998-2016
  11. Overview 1946-2016
  12. Epilogue

Part Two – Recollections of the IOJ

  • From inside the IOJ (10 actors)
  • Testimony of the last four IOJ Presidents
  • From outside the IOJ (4 actors)

Appendices – Documentation on the IOJ (36 documents)
Index of names

Kaarle Nordenstreng is Professor Emeritus of Journalism and Mass Communication at Tampere University, Finland, and member of the IAMCR History Commission. More at 

The above text is from the publisher’s description of the book:

Title: The Rise and Fall of the International Organization of Journalists Based in Prague 1946–2016: Useful recollections part III
Author: Kaarle Nordenstreng
Published: 2020
Pages: 546
Publisher: Karolinum Press

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