Press Freedom


Many countries lack not just a right to freedom of the press, but any semblance of the rule of law. Governments and other powerbrokers see the press as a threat and often target journalists with violence, intimidation and imprisonment to silence them. Yet, more often than not, we get the truth about what is happening in the world from journalists who are willing to put themselves at risk in order to report the truth. The IWMF recognizes the critical role women journalists play in supporting press freedom around the world by supporting those who are targeted for their work, offering them the international recognition and support in times of emergency. At the core of the IWMF’s mission is the belief that press are not truly free unless women have an equal voice.


“We go to remote war zones to report what is happening. The public have a right to know what our government, and our armed forces, are doing in our name. Our mission is to speak the truth to power. We send home that first rough draft of history. We can and do make a difference in exposing the horrors of war and especially the atrocities that befall civilians.”

- Marie Colvin, UK – Courage in Journalism Award 2000
  • Featured Story Featured Story

    World Press Freedom Index 2015

    Top of the list, as so often, are three Scandinavian countries: Finland, Norway, and Denmark. At the other end of the scale, Turkmenistan, North Korea and Eritrea, in last place, were the worst performers. The United States is ranked 49th (down three places), Russia 152 (down four places), Iran 173rd (unchanged) and China 176th (down one place).

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  • KhadijaIsmayilova-thn IWMF calls for release of detained Azerbaijani journalist Khadija IsmayilovaUpdate – September 1, 2015 According to news reports, Ismayilova was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison today. August 20, 2015 – The International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) is deeply concerned about the trial of 2012 Courage in Journalism Award Winner, Azerbaijani journalist Khadija Ismayilova, in Azerbaijan’s capital Baku. After a month-long trial where journalists …

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  • Levine2-thn Heidi Levine wins Anja Niedringhaus AwardMarch 24, 2015 — The IWMF has named freelance photographer Heidi Levine as the inaugural winner of the Anja Niedringhaus Courage in Photojournalism Award. The award was created to honor the courage and dedication of Pulitzer Prize-winning AP photographer Anja Niedringhaus, who was killed while reporting in Afghanistan in 2014. “We are proud to honor …

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  • KhadijaIsmayilova-thn Courage Awardee Khadija Ismayilova Remains Detained in AzerbaijanUpdate – Aug 20, 2015 According to Radio Free Europe Radio Library, the trial of Khadija Ismayilova was closed on August 20 in Baku. Azerbaijan prosecutors asked the court for an extra day to present their sentencing request. The trial started on July 24, and journalists and independent observers were not allowed to enter the …

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  • Hacked-thn IWMF Website HackedSeptember 12, 2014 — The IWMF website suffered a complex brute-force attack last Friday, September 5, 2014. The website that features the work of the IWMF and promotes the empowerment of women journalists worldwide, was defaced and most of its original content destroyed. Using password-cracking software, a hacker operating from Turkey attacked, a WordPress-based …

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  • Yu-thn IWMF calls for release of detained Chinese journalist Gao YuUpdate – April 17, 2015 According to media reports, Gao Yu was convicted today of ‘revealing state secrets’ and sentenced to seven years in prison. Gao’s lawyer announced that she would appeal the court’s decision. May 8, 2014 – The International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) is gravely concerned over the arrest of 1995 Courage in …

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  • Truthdig-thn IWMF and Truthdig join forces for ‘Global Voices’ projectJune 24, 2014 — In collaboration with the IWMF, Truthdig has launched an initiative called Global Voices: Truthdig Women Reporting. The project creates a network of female foreign correspondents from various countries who have all been honored by the IWMF for their courageous journalism. Since 1990, the IWMF’s awards have recognized female reporters who risk …

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  • 2013CourageLA-thn IWMF joins boycott against Beverly Hills HotelMay 6, 2014 – The International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) is joining the international boycott against the Beverly Hills Hotel and has pulled its Courage in Journalism Awards ceremony from the venue. “We, the IWMF, can no longer hold an event at a venue whose owner stands for the violation of the very human rights …

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