The International Press Centre – lPC, Lagos Nigeria is officially registered, through trusteeship, as a not-for-profit, non-governmental and independent media resource centre. Though based in south western Nigeria its activities extend to the rest of the country and the West African sub-region.
It started in October 1999 as a component of the Media-for-Democracy (MFD) In Nigeria project initiated by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) in partnership with Article 19 (the International Freedom of Expression group), Reporters San Frontiers (Reporters Without Borders), West African Journalists Association (WAJA) and three Nigerian media groups: Media Rights Agenda (MRA), Independent Journalism Center (IJC) and Journalists for Democratic Rights (JODER).
The Center has a 7-member advisory board and a 4-member Governing Board comprising representatives of the three Mill partners and the Centre’s Coordinator. IPC continues to coordinate Mill activities on freedom of expression, opinion and thought and freedom of the press.
The MFD project was a transitional initiative designed to assist the Nigerian media as it emerged from the throes of brutal military dictatorship. Prior to the political transition program of 1998 and the elections of 1999, several journalists were arrested, detained, jailed and molested by the security agencies. Some went into exile while others simply went underground to practice ‘guerrilla’ journalism. Many media houses were also shut and the normal newsroom culture aided by free and open gathering of news was undermined.