Press Freedom

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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.


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“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
  • Saeed_thumbnail Nazeeha Saeed – Raising her voice for journalists in BahrainJuly 8, 2014 — When Bahrani reporter Nazeeha Saeed went to cover an anti-government protest May 22, 2011, in the capital city Manama, she anticipated seeing a resurgence in public resistance after military forces had shut down demonstrations two months earlier. Saeed did not expect to be summoned to a police station where she would …

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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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  • Yu-thn IWMF calls for release of detained Chinese journalist Gao YuMay 8, 2014 – The International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) is gravely concerned over the arrest of 1995 Courage in Journalism Award Winner, Chinese journalist Gao Yu. Gao’s whereabouts had been unknown until May 8 when the Chinese official state news agency Xinhua reported her April 24 arrest. She is accused of ‘leaking state secrets’ …

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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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  • Kathy-Anja-thn Reporting from the Front Lines of WarJuly 18, 2012 — Courage Award Winners Kathy Gannon and Anja Niedringhaus have gone where no other foreign journalist had gone before: embedding with the Afghan National Army. AP reporter Kathy Gannon (Canada) is no stranger to reporting from a position of unique insight. Two weeks into the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, she …

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  • Ismayilova-thn Azerbaijan increases efforts to silence truth tellerby Erin Luhmann. March 4, 2014 — Khadija Ismayilova has made it her mission to ensure that the space of critical investigative reporting is not void in Azerbaijan. She hosts a weekly program on Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s Azerbaijani service, where she reports on corruption and malfeasance in the country’s government and the unethical business …

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  • Baniyaghoob02-thn Jila Baniyaghoob | Prisoner of conscience in IranBy Erin Luhmann and Saideh Jamshidi; October 16, 2013 — In September, Iranian President Rouhani granted amnesty to 12 political prisoners as he made his way to an annual session of the United Nations General Assembly. But former Evin prison inmate and 2009 IWMF Courage in Journalism Awardee, Jila Baniyaghoob, cautions this isolated act does …

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  • Ayubi05-thn Najiba Ayubi | 2013 Courage in Journalism AwardThe Killid Group, Afghanistan. Threats and danger are all in a day’s work for Afghan journalist. Afghan journalist Najiba Ayubi is passionate about independent media in her country. But earlier this year, voicing that passion came with a cost. In February, Ayubi questioned the Afghan Ministry of Culture about why it had not created a …

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