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Who we are and what we do

Who we are and what we do

The current FPA Board:

Joe Federman, (AP Bureau Chief and FPA Chairman), Richard Colebourn (BBC Bureau Chief ), Rushdi Abualouf (BBC), Gwen Ackerman ( Bloomberg News), Luke Baker (Reuter's Bureau Chief), Ruth Eglash ( The Washington Post), Nir Elias ( Reuters News), Isabel Kershner (NYT), Mohammed Najib (IHS Jane's).

Executive Secretary: Glenys Sugarman 0547545831

Established in June 1957 by 31 enterprising journalists, the Foreign Press Association in Israel -- known as the FPA -- works to assist our members in covering the Middle East conflict.

Our primary mission focuses on protecting the interests of reporters working here who often find themselves overwhelmed or even threatened by the authorities on both sides of the Israeli/Palestinian divide. Our mandate is to clarify bureaucratic problems and to protect our members so they can report the news free from interference and danger. Much of what we do goes on beneath the radar, but over the years we have saved our members much time, money and grief.

Among our core activities:

-  Preserving the rights of international reporters to an Israeli foreign worker (B-1) visa from the Population and Immigration Authority of the Ministry of Interior.

- Liaising on member's behalf with the press offices and governing officials in Israe, the Palestinian authority and Gaza.  

- Representing journalists to Israeli and Palestinian government and security officials over issues surrounding visas, access, arrest and personal injury affecting reporters in the execution of their professional work. Where necessary, the FPA engages legal assistance and has on occasion taken cases regarding access to conflict zones to Israel's Supreme Court. 

- Fighting to retain favourable tax reporting procedures and rebates for foreign reporters in Israel by lobbying the Knesset and government officials.

- Lobbying Israeli Customs to for the simplification of procedures for the importation of professional news equipment:

- Organising news confrences for our members with leading figures from Israel and the Palestinian Territories.

The Israeli and PA authorities know and respect the FPA after years of interaction. Being a member gives you a certain level of protection when you are out in the field. We are in regular contact with the IDF and the border police and can swiftly intervene in an emergency.

While we stand for open coverage of news events and accessibility to newsworthy sites, we are aware of security constraints. The FPA is the recognised organiser of foreign press pools for TV, radio, print and stills when open access is not possible, such as visits by US Presidents, the Pope and the weekly Israeli cabinet meetings.

When the Israeli Prime Minister flies abroad, the FPA is allocated a certain number of seats for our members, allowing foreign media outlets a prime opportunity to gain exclusive insights into regional policy. At times of conflict access to closed military zones and military embeds are coordinated between the FPA and the IDF.

The FPA is a legally registered private, non-profit organization operating solely on the basis of annual membership dues. As such we are supervised and subject to annual audit by a firm of chartered public accountants. The organization has one paid official – the executive secretary – and is run by a voluntary Chairman and Board annually elected by the membership.  

The FPA currently numbers some 400 members representing TV, radio, photojournalists, print and web media from 32 countries. Our members are listed in a hard copy booklet entitled Who is Who in the FPA. This is updated every year and considered an essential and credible tool by the various authorities, institutions and private organizations who interact with the foreign media in the region.

Everyone is free to choose whether they want to join, but the more members we have, the more clout we wield and the easier it is to gain concessions from the authorities that dot the local landscape.

For further questions and/clarifications please contact the FPA  at fpa@netvision.net.il or call the executive secretary on +972 547 545831.

 

Joining the FPA 

We encourage all journalists working for international news organizations and based in Israel, the West Bank or Gaza Strip to become members of the FPA, provided they have a registered office based in Israel - as a legally registered organization, this is required by law. 

FPA Active Membership dues are NIS. 1150 (roughly US $ 290) a year.

FPA Associate Membership is available for part-time / freelance journalists, who can participate in all FPA activities, but cannot vote in board elections. Dues are NIS.600 (about US $ 150) a year

**FIRST-TIME APPLICANTS also pay a registration fee of NIS.150  (about $38). 

To apply: Please contact Executive Secretary Glenys Sugarman or contact us via email: fpa@netvision.net.il   

Applicants should present a letter from an editor or senior producer at their news organization's home office, verifying their position with the company or affiliation status. 

Freelance correspondents, should provide links to articles in addition to a letter from the editor/s of the media organization to which you contribute as a journalist. 

All applicants must be sponsored by two Active FPA Members and present a recent photograph to receive a membership card.

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