IWMF names Andrea Bruce 2018 Anja Niedringhaus Courage in Photojournalism Award winner

2018 Awardee

2018 Awardee Andrea Bruce — (Photo by: Jonathan Levinson)

[AMSTERDAM, APRIL 14, 2018]: Today, the International Women’s Media Foundation announced that this year’s Anja Niedringhaus Courage in Photojournalism Award will go to former Washington Post photographer Andrea Bruce. She was celebrated at a ceremony in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, at the close of the World Press Photo Festival.

Bruce was chosen from among 136 nominations, the highest since the program began four years ago. The IWMF also announced two honorable mentions — Amber Bracken of Canada and Rebecca Conway of the United Kingdom.

The Anja Award honors women journalists who document crucial stories in challenging environments while capturing poignant moments of humanity. It was established in honor of German AP photographer Anja Niedringhaus, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2014.

The images submitted by this year’s honorees were geographically diverse and recognized for spotlighting the people at the center of conflict, at times even after the larger story had receded from the headlines.

Winner Andrea Bruce is an American documentary photographer whose work focuses on people living in the aftermath of war, particularly in Iraq and Afghanistan. For eight years, Andrea was a staff photographer at The Washington Post and wrote the column “Unseen Iraq,” which explored the lives of the Iraqi people and the U.S. military. Andrea was selected for her empathy, her emotional connection with subjects, and for the dignity that shines through in her portfolio, which also includes images from Syria, Russia, Bahrain, India and Haiti. Juror Eman Mohammed noted that Andrea “was always inspiring others within the field to step up and inspiring young female photographers.”

Bruce said that Neidringhaus’s dedication, passion and purpose helped give her the courage to continue her work. “It is an enormous honor to suddenly be given the opportunity to help carry her legacy forward and to be part of the IWMF’s wonderful work,” she said. “I can only hope to be half as successful as Anja was in showing the female photographers of tomorrow that a career in photojournalism is possible without compromising who you are as a person.”

Andrea has been named Photographer of the Year by the White House News Photographers Association four times and has received awards from the International Pictures of the Year contest, and the prestigious John Faber Award from the Overseas Press Club in NY. She is a partner at the NOOR photo agency and is based in Maryland. Twitter: @abruce_noor; Instagram: @andreabruce

Honorable Mentions

Honorable Mention Awardees Amber Bracken and Rebecca Conway
Amber Bracken and Rebecca Conway

Amber Bracken, who received an honorable mention, captures stories that are closer to home but just as compelling. A lifelong resident of Alberta, Canada, Bracken’s dedication to exploring issues that affect First Nations communities brought her to North Dakota in 2016 to document the protest launched by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline. The jury noted the incredible perseverance evident in Amber’s work along with her fresh and memorable look at indigenous peoples of her home region and beyond. Bracken has published in outlets such as the Globe and Mail, Reuters, Maclean’s Magazine and Canadian Geographic. Twitter and Instagram: @photobracken

Rebecca Conway, also an honorable mention, is a British photojournalist based in New Delhi who is known for capturing the long-simmering conflict in Kashmir and its effects on local civilians. Conway has covered South Asia for 10 years, photographing in Pakistan, India, Nepal and Afghanistan for outlets such as Newsweek, The National, IRIN, and Reuters. She currently serves as photo editor for Agence France-Presse. Her work in Kashmir has been awarded the Marilyn Stafford Fotoreportage Award and the Biennial Grant, and was shortlisted for the Festival of Ethical Photography’s World Report Master Award. Twitter and Instagram: @rebeccajconway

“Women journalists have long been vulnerable to work-related harassment and other dangers that we are just now starting to talk about,” said Elisa Lees Muñoz, executive director of the IWMF. “This award is about honoring those who operate in areas of greatest risk yet stay laser focused on those who, as they will tell you, are the real heroes.”

Anja Niedringhaus was a recipient of the IWMF Courage in Journalism Award in 2005. The awards program is made possible by the Howard G. Buffett Foundation the winner will receive a $20,000 prize. Honorees’ images and captions, biographies, and headshots are available for media use with proper attribution, please reach out to Deanna Troust, at dtroust@iwmf.org.


Since 1990, the International Women’s Media Foundation has worked to unleash the potential of women journalists as champions of press freedom to transform the global news media. We seek to ensure that women journalists worldwide are fully supported, protected, recognized and rewarded for their vital contributions at all levels of the news media, with the vision that consumers increasingly demand a diversity of voices, stories and perspectives as a cornerstone of democracy and free expression. Through our programs and grants, we empower women journalists with the training, opportunities, and support to become leaders in the news industry. Learn more at www.iwmf.org and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.


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For media inquiries please contact Deanna Troust dtroust@iwmf.org