The IMMF was founded in 1991 by British
photojournalist Tim Page, who survived multiple wounds while covering the
Vietnam War but lost a number of close colleagues in the conflict.
The foundation was set up in memory of those killed on all sides while
covering the wars in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia since 1945.
IMMF was registered in Great Britain as a charitable trust in 1991 and
subsequently as a separate foundation under Thai law in Thailand with the
aim of improving standards of professional journalism in the region.
The first IMMF Thailand president was Charles Antoine de Nerciat,
Bangkok bureau chief of Agence France-Press.
Initial funds were
obtained from members of the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand, from
the Asia Foundation and through an auction, in November, 1992, of
images donated by leading photographers from around the
world. This enabled the IMMF to set up an office in Bangkok in
November, 1993, and hold its first training course -- basic print
journalism -- in May, 1994. Another photo auction was
organised in 1995.
The inaugural course, held at Bangkok's
Chulalongkorn University, was attended by 15 working journalists from
Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, and proved a major success.