Shaping the Narrative

2022 Impact Report

Rilcelia Akai in Brasília

A word from our Executive Director

Democracy requires a diversity of voices in the newsroom. To sustain the power of those voices, we need to keep them safe, and intentionally provide them with support and opportunities.

This mission has guided the IWMF’s work for more than 30 years.

In 2022, we marveled at the tenacity of the reporters we supported through our grants and reporting programs – and the exploding need for safety training, emergency assistance and the growing portfolio of mental health resources we provide for journalists around the world.

The stories we fund are a powerful tool for change. One that stuck with me, from our Fund for Women Journalists grantees Naomi Ishisaka, Corinne Chin and Jennifer Moriguchi Buchanan, spotlighted the Seattle Times’ racist and misleading coverage of the 13,000 local Japanese residents incarcerated after Pearl Harbor – they developed a riveting story package that corrected the record. The Times – one of the newsrooms that joined the IWMF’s News Safety Project – greenlit the project. The story is now being taught in classrooms, showing the power of journalism and the Fund itself, which is now in its ninth year.

Inclusion, of course, has many dimensions. This year we launched our first fund dedicated to Indigenous storytelling in the U.S.; our Exprésate journalists learned how to responsibly report LGBTQI+ stories in Latin America; our Reproductive Rights Reporting Fund grantees covered fall-out from the overturn of Roe v Wade; our new REM Haitian reporting fellows worked to dispel the tired narrative of a disaster-torn nation; and more.

Funders large and small committed to these programs in 2022 and beyond, and for that we are sincerely grateful.

What stories do you want told? As our grantees know, those that help right wrongs, stem from forgotten corners and develop from personal conversations and lived experience over time often have the most impact.


Elisa Lees Muñoz, Executive Director


2022 was a dangerous year for women and nonbinary journalists. For detentions and imprisonment alone the statistics are staggering:

At year-end, 533 journalists were detained around the world. 78 were women – a ~30% increase from 2021.

In Iran alone, 22 of the 49 journalists arrested in 2022 during protests after Mahsa Amini’s death were women.

We denounced:

We applauded:

Emergency Funding

We provided
in Emergency Fund assistance
to 191 journalists from nearly 30 countries.

We helped journalists leave Ukraine and offered resources to those who stayed to report, with support from the MacArthur Foundation.

We honored former fellows and awardees reporting on-site . . .

. . . and those who lost their lives.

Reclaiming Futures

We joined Sahar Speaks in launching Reclaiming Futures, a fellowship program for Afghan women journalists in exile in the U.S., and welcomed our first cohort.


We launched two globally accessible guides that prioritize online safety for women and nonbinary journalists.

For Newsrooms

A Guide to Protecting Journalists and Newsrooms Against Online Violence includes practical steps for policy formation, with case studies from Radio Free Europe, The Seattle Times, Protocol Media and more. The guide was made possible by funding from Craig Newmark Philanthropies.

For Journalists

The Mental Health Guide for Journalists Facing Online Violence helps reporters navigate the colossal surge in trolling, doxing and death threats; practice self-care; and get help when need be.

Engagement with the Mental Health Guide in its first week:

Based on the success of our Black Journalists Therapy Relief Fund, and with support from The Democracy Fund, we began issuing grants to journalists of color with mental health needs across all genders, ages and backgrounds.

From contentious election cycles to risks of violence in communities and online, we expect a strong need for this funding in the years ahead.