Case Study

IAF MLA contributes to the reliability of media content


Certification of press media content according to the JOURNALISM TRUST INITIATIVE (JTI) standard is granted by certification bodies accredited by accreditation bodies. JTI’s preference is to rely on accreditation body signatories to the International Accreditation Forum Multilateral Recognition Arrangement (IAF MLA) for the main scope of ISO/IEC 17065 Conformity assessment – Requirements for bodies certifying products, processes and services.

Ultimately, the goal of JTI is to ensure that media content is reliable, particularly social media content.

This objective can be achieved by mobilizing a series of stakeholders sharing the same values in terms of quality management: a certified press organization, an accredited certifier, and an accreditation body signatory to the IAF MLA for the main scope of ISO/IEC 17065.

In Africa, the JTI has therefore prioritized the list of accreditation body signatories to the IAF MLA, including the Systéme Ouest Africain D’Accréditation / West African Accreditation System (SOAC WAAS) in West Africa. Indeed, SOAC WAAS, a multi-economy AB, is so far the only signatory body to the IAF MLA in the region.


The JTI / ISO/IEC 17065 program became effective at SOAC in 2023, with a first file registered for an accreditation pre-assessment finalized in June 2023. Ultimately, for the JTI it is a question of certifying the greatest number of media outlets to increase the availability of reliable information around the world, including in West Africa.

“The question [of trustable information] is relevant to UN action and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Even though there is no specific SDG related to information, opinion, and the internet, the questions raised by online freedom of expression are relevant for many of the SDGs, such as good health and well-being, gender equality, reduced inequality, climate action, peace, justice, and strong institutions. In fact, it has been widely recognized both by academics and policymakers that without a healthy public sphere it is impossible to foster dialogue and nurture the political resolve that is necessary to address these issues.” – Paolo Gerbaudo (Marie Skłodowska–Curie Researcher, Scuola Normale Superiore; Reader in Digital Politics, King’s College London)[1]


With a view to better popularizing its certification program among press organizations in the region, JTI requested SOAC WAAS to organize an information workshop for the structures in charge of accreditation in West Africa. It should be noted that, since November 2022, SOAC WAAS has been chairing the West African Accreditation Cooperation (ECORAS). It was thus possible to have the three accreditation bodies in the region participating, namely the Ghana National Accreditation Service (GhaNAS), the Nigeria National Accreditation System (NiNAS) and SOAC WAAS. In addition, out of five accreditation focal points from Member States without an accreditation body in the region, four responded and participated in the work. This workshop was held at SOAC headquarters on September 14 and 15, 2023.

The meeting made it possible to adopt an action plan which aims, in the long term, to open this accreditation program to GhaNAS and NiNAS. Above all, it includes a series of actions for capacity building on the ISO/IEC 17065 standard and the JTI standard.

At the same time, the JTI has set up a scholarship system for the benefit of press organizations. These scholarships allow them, in a pilot phase, to cover their certification costs with certification bodies authorized by SOAC.

The JTI also carries out actions with governments so that the repository could serve as a basis for allocating national aid to the press.

Results and impact

In 2023, the actions carried out to popularize the JTI standard made it possible to achieve certain results, including:

· Capacity strengthened for four national accreditation focal points (Gambia, Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone) and two Directors General (GhaNAS, Ghana and NiNAS, Nigeria);

· Two preliminary visits finalized for two product certification bodies;

· A new accreditation application registered in Senegal;

· More than a hundred press organizations ready to receive a certification audit on the JTI; and

· Around 10 candidate evaluators trained in the ISO/IEC 17065 standard and the requirements of the JTI repository.

[1] (Gerbaudo, P. (2022, June 6). Information Wars. Retrieved April 3, 2024, from

IAF MLA contributes to the reliability of media content

Sustainable Development Goals

No Poverty
Good Health And Well-being
Quality Education
Gender Equality
Reduced Inequalities
Climate Action
Peace, Justice And Strong Institutions