IWMF Receives $200K from Luminate to Aid Journalists

Growing funding supported more than 300 women journalists in crisis amid COVID-19

[June 5, 2020 – WASHINGTON, DC] – The International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) today announced an additional $200,000 in direct aid to women journalists suffering as a result of COVID-19. Made possible with the generous support of Luminate, this funding allowed the organization to bolster its Journalism Relief Fund established in March 2020 amid a global pandemic.

This new grant contributed to a surge in momentum for the IWMF’s Journalism Relief Fund, including a $50,000 grant from the Heising-Simons Foundation for the IWMF’s work in the U.S., and founding support from Twitter, Craig Newmark Philanthropies and the Foundation for a Just Society. The IWMF has now distributed more than $400,000 to women journalists in dire need.

“We have received an overwhelming response from women journalists whose safety and livelihood are at risk due to this pandemic,” said Elisa Lees Muñoz, Executive Director of the IWMF. “Thanks to the generous support of Luminate and Heising-Simons, we were able to continue our Journalism Relief Fund and provide vital resources to frontline journalists.”

Luminate’s independent media work defends a vibrant, free press that uncovers the truth and holds power to account. Heising-Simon’s journalism grants strive to strengthen and sustain journalism as an essential arm of U.S. democracy. Together, this funding recognizes the severe threat COVID-19’s impact poses to human rights and journalism at-large.

“The future of journalism is at risk, and in order to save it, we must first save journalists,” said Nishant Lalwani, Managing Director at Luminate. “We are proud to support the IWMF’s Journalism Relief Fund, which is providing important and immediate help to women journalists and boosting the vitality of equitable news media.”

Established as an emergency response to coronavirus, the IWMF’s Journalism Relief Fund has supported more than 300 women journalists from 66 countries since March 2020, with an average grant of $1,300 per person. As news media workers endure loss of assignments, layoffs and furloughs, there remains great need for assistance among women journalists worldwide.

About the International Women’s Media Foundation

Founded in 1989, the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) is the only global non-profit organization that offers emergency support, safety training, grants, skills building and reporting opportunities specifically for female journalists. We are making more women-produced reporting 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.

About Luminate

Luminate is a global philanthropic organisation focused on empowering people and institutions to work together to build just and fair societies. We support innovative and courageous organisations and entrepreneurs around the world, and we advocate for the policies and actions that will drive change across four impact areas: Civic Empowerment, Data & Digital Rights, Financial Transparency, and Independent Media. We work with our partners to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to participate in and to shape the issues affecting their societies, and to make those in positions of power more responsive and accountable. Luminate was established in 2018 by philanthropists Pierre and Pam Omidyar. The organisation was founded by The Omidyar Group. www.luminategroup.com


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