At a glance

Quick facts

Who can join
All working journalists, at all levels, across all media and across all language streams, whether in employment or working freelance, so long as your work consists of producing editorial matter for publication or broadcasting.That includes anyone who is a reporter, writer, editor, section or desk editor, columnist, copy editor, news producer or presenter, broadcast or video journalist, editorial graphic artist, editorial cartoonist, photographer or videographer.

Classes of membership
Voting members:

  • Ordinary member – full-time employed journalists
  • Freelance member – full-time working journalist not employed

Non-voting members:

  • Associate member
    — Anyone who carries out journalistic work, whether full-time or part-time, at any kind of publication or online site, but whose main source of income is not journalism
    — Any engaged in teaching journalism at any accredited institution
    — Anyone who supports the aims and objectives of the Institute of Journalists Malaysia, and the concepts of freedom of the press, freedom of speech, freedom of thought and conscience, freedom of belief.
  • Student member – anyone engaged in a full-time course of studies in journalism or related studies at an accredited institution
  • Affiliate member – any organisation that comprises members of the mass media, such as societies, clubs, unions, etc; or any organisation involved in advocacy of media rights or human rights
  • Corporate member – any company which is a media owner; or any company which supports the aims and objectives of the Institute


  • The Institute is a tax-exempt non-profit organisation.
  • The Institute is incorporated under the Companies Act 1964 as a company limited by guarantee.
  • The Institute is run by a Board of Governors, elected from among members of the institute.
  • The Board may appoint a Director of the Institute, honorary or employed by the Board, to manage day-to-day affairs.

Board of Governors

  • The Board consists of not less than 7 and not more than 11 members.

Fair representation

Board members are elected in the proportion 2:2:2:1

  • Two from among those working in the press,
  • Two members are elected from those in broadcasting
  • two members are elected from those in online media
  • One member from among periodical, freelance and other journalists.
  • The Board must maintain fair representation across media streams and ensure that the Board and its committees are not dominated by any single sector.
  • The Board must also ensure fair representation across language streams so that the Board and its committees are not dominated by any language medium
  • Four additional members, one from each section, are elected to be alternate members and deputise for members absent at Board meetings.


  • Members of the Board will elect a chairman from among themselves.
  • The Chairman may speak for the Institute.

Board rotation

  • One-third of the inaugural Board retires at the end of one year;
  • Another one-third of the inaugural Board retires at the end of the second year;
  • The remaining one-third of the inaugural Board retires at the end of three years.
  • The seats that fall vacant each year shall be filled by an election at the general meeting.
  • That means there will be elections every year, but for only one third of the seats on the Board

Term limit

    • Members of the Board serve a term of three years each. They are eligible for re-election to another term.
    • No member shall serve more than two terms (or six years in succession).
    • After two terms a Board member must sit out three years before he can stand for election again.

The terms of the members of the inaugural board who retire early as required under the rotation rules will not count towards the six-year rule