The two associations are deeply involved in researching into, and advising members on, the exceptional upheaval in the industry driven by the digital revolution.
The World Association of Newspapers (WAN) and IFRA said in a statement yesterday that together they would represent more than 18,000 publications, 15,000 online sites and more than 3,000 companies in more than 120 countries.
The newspaper industry in general is struggling hard to find business models which can sustain established titles while also replacing lost print advertising revenue by developing profitable on-line activities.
WAN-IFRA said it intended to be the "indispensable partner of newspapers and the entire news publishing industry worldwide."
It said that it would focus on the defence and promotion of press freedom, editorial integrity "and the development of prosperous businesses and technology."
The president of the new body will be Gavin O'Reilly, the president of WAN and chief executive of the Irish group Independent News and Media.