2015 IWMF Courage in Journalism Awards kick off in Los Angeles


May 20, 2015 – On Wednesday, journalists, entertainers, philanthropists and leading media industry representatives from the Los Angeles community gathered at the Beverly Hills home of former entertainment attorney and philanthropist Julia Sorkin to kick off the IWMF Courage Awards and to discuss the current dangers women journalists are facing on the front lines. The event was organized by IWMF and co-hosted by Julie Henderson, EVP and Chief Communications for 21st Century Fox and Benefit Committee Chair for the 2015 IWMF Courage Awards in Los Angeles and actress Hannah Simone (“New Girl”), a former radio journalist and international refugee officer for the United Nations. The IWMF team included Elisa Lees Muñoz, Executive Director, Pilar Frank O’Leary, Director of Strategic Engagement and Courtney Flanagan, Development Manager.

Other special guests at the kick-off event included Linda Deutsch, 2015 winner of the IWMF Lifetime Achievement Award, television writer and producer Nahnatchka Khan (“Fresh Off the Boat”), Jessica Kantor, West Coast Editor for Glamour Magazine, Barbara Casey of the Casey Foundation, Colleen Haggerty of Bank of America, Howard T. Owens, CEO of Propagate Content and former president of National Geographic Television and his wife Marnie Owens, a co-founder of baby2baby.org.

Sharon Waxman, CEO and Editor in Chief of The Wrap, an IWMF Board member and Pulitzer prize-nominated investigative journalist, moderated a discussion along with Lees Muñoz on some of the harrowing experiences that women journalists face in the field from threats of violence to sexual abuse with 3 former IWMF reporting fellows who traveled with the IWMF to the DRC: Katie Falkenberg, a photojournalist for the LA Times whose work has been recognized by the White House News Photographers Association and National Press Photographers Association; Evelyn Iritani, a senior editor at Bending Borders and winner of the Pulitzer Prize and George Polk Award; and Karen Lowe, creator and executive producer of Bending Borders and winner of the National Press Foundation Award and the Overseas Press Club Award. Guests were able to view Falkenberg’s striking photos from the Congo on an IWMF reporting trip and Pakistan during the panel. Lees Muñoz also took the opportunity during the conversation to talk about the IWMF’s long-standing focus on security for women journalists in the field and forthcoming journalism security mobile app Reporta.

The IWMF also announced the 2015 Courage in Journalism Award winners. It was an honor to make this announcement with 2015 IWMF Lifetime Achievement winner Linda Deutsch at the event. Deutsch retired last year from her position as AP special correspondent and trial reporter. During her 50-year career she covered such high profile trials such as the Charles Manson cases and the O.J. Simpson trial. Deutsch said the award was the icing on the cake of her distinguished career.

The IWMF Courage Award ceremonies in Los Angeles will take place on October 27, 2015 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. For more information on the event including sponsorship opportunities and tickets, please contact Courtney Flanagan, Development Manager.

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Los Angeles

Vince Bucci

Sharon Waxman, Evelyn Iritani, Karen Lowe, Linda Deutsch, Katie Falkenberg and Elisa Lees Munoz in Beverly Hills, California
Los Angeles

Vince Bucci

Sharon Waxman, Karen Lowe, Katie Falkenberg, Evelyn Iritani and Elisa Lees Munoz
Los Angeles

Vince Bucci

2015 IWMF Lifetime Achievement Awardee Linda Deutsch