IWMF Awarded $350K from Luminate to Expand Digital Safety Work

Funding supports urgent need to protect women journalists online

[September 9, 2019 – WASHINGTON, DC] – The International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) today announced it has received a $350,000 grant from global philanthropic organization Luminate to launch the global portion of its initiative on digital safety for women journalists. As concerns about the impact of online harassment of journalists grow, Luminate’s grant will help the IWMF develop an eco-system of support providing resources and programming at an international level.

This new funding contributes to a consortium of support the IWMF is building focusing on digital safety and complements recent grants to the IWMF, including $250,000 from the Knight Foundation and $100,000 from Craig Newmark Philanthropies. Together with Luminate’s funding, these grants acknowledge the IWMF’s proven impact researching, building and evaluating support systems for women journalists so they can operate safely online.

“Whether in-person or online, ensuring the safety of women journalists has always been a key priority for the IWMF,” said IWMF Executive Director Elisa Lees Muñoz. “As the women in our community and network face growing threats online, we are thrilled to use these grants to meet those challenges and fill the critical gap in digital safety training for journalists globally.”

Luminate’s independent media work aims to defend a vibrant, free press that uncovers the truth and holds power to account. The organization awarded funding to the IWMF due to a shared understanding that online attacks prevent a diversity of voices in the newsroom and hinder a free press.

“At Luminate, we work to advocate for media that is representative of its audiences, and support organizations that protect journalists from digital and physical threats,” said Nishant Lalwani, Director of Independent Media at Luminate. “We hope that our grant will support the IWMF’s extraordinary work elevating and protecting the voices of female journalists around the world so they can publish stories and hold power to account without threat.”

This surge in funding follows the IWMF’s 2018 report “Attacks and Harassment: The Impact on Female Journalists and Their Reporting,” which found that nearly two-thirds of women journalists have been subjected to online harassment or threats. Further, nearly one-third consider leaving the profession due to online attacks.

These grants will expand the IWMF’s resources for digital safety and may include workshops, training tools and support methods as well as ways to report and document harassment. Through this work, the IWMF will enhance its support of women journalists in need of digital safety training while connecting them to journalists with digital safety experience and digital safety experts.


About the International Women’s Media Foundation

Founded in 1990, the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) is the only global non-profit organization that offers emergency support, safety training, reporting opportunities and funding avenues offered specifically for female journalists. We are making more women’s bylines possible and work tirelessly to ensure a greater diversity of voices represented in the news industry worldwide. Follow the IWMF on Twitter at @IWMF, on Facebook at @IWMFPage, and Instagram on @TheIWMF.

Media Contact:

Charlotte Fox
Director of Communications
(202) 567-2615