Reporters without Borders

Tax ID:


Tax-Exempt Status:


Budget (2019):

Revenue: $1,661,236
Expenses: $1,749,884
Assets: $557,738



Paris, France


Press Freedom Watchdog

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Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontiers) (RSF), is a Paris-based advocacy group supporting government transparency and journalistic freedom worldwide, documenting and reporting information, and lobbying various organizations such as the United Nations and the Council of Europe. 1


In 1985, Reporters Without Borders was founded by four journalists in the southern French city of Montpellier. It registered as a nonprofit organization in 1995. RSF organized protests during the 2008 Beijing Olympics, created the only independent radio station broadcasting to Eritreans in 2009, and provided training to journalists and bloggers in Syria. The RSF is based in Paris and is an official consultant of the United Nations, the International Organization of the Francophonie, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and the Council of Europe. It has foreign sections called “bureaux” in ten cities including Berlin, Washington, Brussels, Tunis, Stockholm, and Rio de Janeiro. The organization also has a large worldwide network of correspondents across 130 countries that allows RSF to mobilize support and wield influence on the ground and in ministries and precincts across the globe. 2


Reporters Without Borders provides information about media freedom and censorship across the world in multiple languages, including French, English, Spanish, Arabic, Russian, and Chinese. RSF evaluates media freedom and laws restricting journalists in 180 countries through its World Press Freedom Index. 3

In 2018, RSF launched the Journalism Trust Initiative in partnership with the European Broadcasting Union, Agence France Presse, and Global Editors Network. The program sets standards for trustworthy journalism and certifies organizations that meet those standards. 4

That same year, RSF launched the Information and Democracy Commission, a group of individuals such as Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi, RSF secretary general Christophe Deloire, and Nobel Economics Prize winners Joseph Stiglitz and Amartya Sen, who drafted and signed an international declaration on information and democracy. 5 The purpose of this declaration is to state principles, define objectives, and propose forms of governance in relation to global information flows and communication. 6

RSF has intervened to protest threats to journalistic freedom around the world. These include turning off the Eiffel Tower lights in tribute to Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was allegedly murdered by agents of the Saudi crown in Turkey; 7 opening a women journalists center in 2017; 8 an artistic protest with a street artist called c215 in Strasbourg calling attention to detained Turkish journalists; 9 and sending a team to Saudi Arabia to seek freedom for about 30 jailed journalists amid criticism of the Saudi state after Khashoggi’s murder. 10

In 2014, the organization launched a program called Operation Collateral Freedom, which provides alternative access to censored websites by creating mirror sites. 11 It also publishes a gallery called Predators of Press Freedom, highlighting international violators of press freedom, 12 and runs an online Press Freedom Barometer that monitors the number of journalists and media workers killed or imprisoned. 13


  1. “Presentation.” RSF. Last modified January 31, 2017.
  2. “Presentation.” RSF. Last modified January 31, 2017.
  3. “Our Activities.” RSF. Last modified April 5, 2018.
  4. “RSF and Partners Launch a Public Consultation on the Journalism Trust Initiative.” RSF. Last modified September 5, 2019.
  5. RSF to Launch Groundbreaking Global Information and Democracy Commission, 70 Years after the UN General Assembly Adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Reporters Without Borders.” RSF, September 12, 2018.
  6. International Declaration on Information and Democracy. RSF. November 5, 2018.
  7. ““RSF Blacks out Eiffel Tower for Slain Journalists, a Month After Khashoggi Death | Reporters Without Borders.”.” RSF. Last modified November 7, 2018.
  8. [1] ““Reporters Sans Frontières Protects Afghan Journalists.”.” The Borgen Project. Last modified November 21, 2019.
  9. “Turkey’s Imprisoned Journalists Pin Hopes on European Court.” RSF. Last modified May 30, 2017.
  10. “Media Watchdog Visits Saudi Arabia to Free Journalists.” Breaking News, World News and Video from Al Jazeera. Last modified July 10, 2019.
  11. “#CollateralFreedom: RSF Unblocks 22 Sites Censored in Their Own Country.” RSF. Last modified March 26, 2019.
  12. “Predators Gallery.” RSF. Accessed October 11, 2021.
  13. “2016 Violations of Press Freedom Barometer.” RSF. Accessed October 11, 2021.
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: April 1, 2004

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2019 Dec Form 990 $1,661,236 $1,749,884 $557,738 $36,013 N $1,659,666 $0 $243 $79,749 PDF
    2018 Dec Form 990 $482,461 $390,795 $626,002 $15,629 N $481,034 $0 $117 $77,331 PDF
    2018 Jun Form 990 $699,525 $570,236 $536,294 $17,587 N $699,315 $0 $210 $73,333
    2017 Jun Form 990 $616,881 $478,258 $295,513 $6,151 N $616,808 $0 $73 $110,667 PDF
    2016 Jun Form 990 $380,464 $377,583 $155,676 $4,937 N $380,348 $0 $116 $54,500 PDF
    2015 Jun Form 990 $455,582 $569,013 $147,995 $0 N $455,428 $0 $154 $46,200 PDF
    2014 Jun Form 990 $180,904 $313,581 $262,873 $0 N $180,817 $0 $87 $46,200 PDF
    2013 Jun Form 990 $350,489 $210,707 $395,553 $7,334 N $350,488 $0 $1 $43,150 PDF
    2012 Jun Form 990 $317,426 $220,305 $256,874 $5,369 N $201,100 $0 $1 $22,750 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)