IWMF Announces Second Group of 2015 Grantees of The Howard G. Buffett Fund For Women Journalists


Women journalists from Argentina, Guinea, Philippines and the US to receive $60,000

September 24, 2015 – The International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) is proud to announce the second group of 2015 grantees for Howard G. Buffett Fund for Women Journalists. Nine women journalists were selected from a strong pool of 400 applicants representing media projects based in over 90 countries.

Second Group of 2015 IWMF Grantees of the Howard G. Buffett Fund for Women Journalists:

Imelda Abano is awarded a $5,000 grant to complete a multi-media project and hold a skills building workshop for local women journalists in disaster hit areas of the Philippines. Imelda is a freelance contributor for the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Manila. She has covered climate change and other environmental issues in the Philippines and Asia for 15 years and is the president of the Philippine Network of Environmental Journalists.

Deepa Bharath is awarded a $9,000 grant to write a series of articles about former extremists who are working to educate young people and prevent them from joining terrorist groups. Deepa is a staff writer for The Orange County Register covering religion and health. She has worked a number of beats from city government to crime and courts for Southern California newspapers including the Register, Los Angeles Times and the Daily Breeze.

Monique Curtis is awarded a grant of $2,000 to report on the effects of the Ebola epidemic in rural communities in Guinea. Monique is a multimedia journalist based in Conakry, Guinea. She is the President of the Alliance for Women in the Media in Guinea, which is responsible for awarding the Hadiatou Sow Prize for the most outstanding women journalists Guinea. In 2007 Monique participated in the International Visitor Leadership Program sponsored by the US Department of State.

Melanie DeKlerk is awarded a grant of $4,500 to obtain hostile environment and first aid training. Melanie is the assignment editor for Global National News in Canada. She was Global’s liaison with the Canadian Military in Afghanistan for six years before becoming embedded on base in Kandahar where she field produced stories on the closing of Canada’s historic combat mission and produced the first live blog in a war zone. Most recently she was in Myanmar working on stories about the rapid changes in the country.

Elizabeth Dickinson is awarded a grant of $6,000 for an in-depth writing project that challenges traditional narratives on women’s rights in the Gulf. Elizabeth is a Deca journalist based in the Arabian Peninsula. Her writing has appeared in The New Yorker, Foreign Policy, The Economist, Politico Magazine, the Christian Science Monitor, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and The Financial Times. She was the first Western journalist to chronicle the private Kuwaiti donor network funding Syria’s opposition and has written extensively about Gulf financing to the conflict.

Karen Lowe is awarded a grant of $19,000 for her project “The Age Bomb, a series of radio pieces on the phenomenon of the world’s fast-growing aging population. Karen has reported for This American Life, worked as the foreign editor at Marketplace Radio and was a reporter and editor for Agence France-Presse. She is the Creator and Executive Producer of Bending Borders, a radio and multimedia production project that connects people from around the world through shared human experiences.

Alex Potter is awarded a grant of $6,000 for a photography project on former prisoners. Alex is a photographer and journalist based in the Middle East. She aims to bridge the gap between the foreign and familiar by creating thought-provoking and emotional images. Her work can be seen in publications like the New York Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, and NPR. Alex is a founding member of the Koan Collective of photographers.

Martine Powers is awarded a grant of $6,000 to attend the Transom Story Workshop, a two-month full-time audio journalism course in Massachusetts. Martine specializes in reporting on transportation, infrastructure, and urban design. She recently concluded a year on a Fulbright Fellowship in Trinidad and Tobago, where she wrote for the Guardian, Latterly Magazine, Caribbean Beat Magazine, and OZY.com. Previously, she worked on the metro staff of the Boston Globe and served on the Pulitzer Prize-winning team that covered the Boston Marathon bombings.

Laura Zommer and her team are awarded a grant of $7,000 to support Chequeado, an independent news organization and Latin America’s first fact-checking site. Laura is a journalist, lawyer and access to information activist. She is the Director at Chequeado and a Professor at the University of Buenos Aires. Chequeado’s goal is to generate interest and social demand for data and public information and to promote transparency and improve democracy.

The IWMF will announce details about future funding rounds in late October 2015. At least $2.3 million will be awarded to grantees over the next 10 years. The opportunities this Fund will empower are critical to transparency, democracy and embracing the diversity of voices reporting across all media platforms. The only prerequisite is that grantees are female journalists working full-time either for a specific media outlet or as a freelancer.

The Fund was established by the IWMF in 2014 with the generous support of the Howard G. Buffett Foundation to promote the work and advance the contributions of women in the media working around the world.

Learn more about the Fund, sign up for updates, and submit proposals during the application period for future funding rounds here.

Follow the progress of IWMF grantees on Twitter @IWMF, #IWMFfund, #IWMFgrantee.

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