IWMF Announces 2022 Courage in Journalism Award Winners

Women journalists from Ukraine, U.S. and China receive prestigious honor

[June 27, 2022 – WASHINGTON, DC] – The International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) today announced the recipients of its 32nd annual Courage in Journalism Awards, which honor women journalists who show remarkable persistence and bravery within news media. This year’s honorees are Lynsey Addario, a veteran United States photojournalist currently working with The New York Times; Victoria Roshchyna, a Ukrainian freelance journalist; and, Cerise Castle, a United States investigative journalist. Imprisoned Chinese columnist Xueqin (Sophia) Huang was awarded the Wallis Annenberg Justice for Women Journalists Award, which is given annually to a journalist who is unjustly jailed, detained, or imprisoned.

The Courage in Journalism Awards are announced amid heightened global tensions around the world, including Russia’s war on Ukraine, the consequences of the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan, numerous authoritarian crackdowns, and blatant human rights abuses. These awards recognize the women journalists at the frontlines of these challenges who are intrepid in their commitment to reporting.

“This year’s awardees have persevered in the face of extreme dangers, including police intimidation, censorship, captivity and the trauma of documenting war crimes,” said IWMF Executive Director Elisa Lees Muñoz. “These women bear witness to some of the world’s darkest and most difficult moments; it is an honor to recognize their drive to report on truths not often seen, and appreciate how those stories affect our news landscape today.”

The Courage in Journalism Awards are made possible by Bank of America, the awards’ National Presenting Sponsor for 16 consecutive years. The IWMF would like to thank Bank of America for its commitment to journalism, diversity in news media and the pursuit of press freedom.

Reporting from 70 countries throughout her 25-year career, photojournalist Lynsey Addario is dedicated to documenting conflict, humanitarian crisis, and women’s issues from the frontlines despite a near-death experience. Also reporting from the ground in Ukraine is Victoria Roshchyna, whose freelance coverage shares the horrifying effects of war on civilians; Roshchyna was detained by Russian forces for her work. U.S.-based journalist Cerise Castle wrote the first history exposing deputy gangs inside the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, resulting in harassment and retaliation from LASD and threats to her safety.

Having spent her career reporting on injustice and corruption in China – including pioneering the #MeToo movement within her country – Wallis Annenberg Justice for Women Journalists Awardee Xueqin (Sophia) Huang was arrested on September 19, 2021. She remains imprisoned with no contact to her family or lawyers since her arrest.

The awardees will be recognized during a virtual ceremony on November 9, 2022, held in partnership with Washington Post Live. The event will be hosted by IWMF board member and CBS Evening News anchor Norah O’Donnell and chaired by Quadrivium Foundation co-founder and president Kathryn Murdoch.

“Global conflicts continue to demonstrate that press freedom is foundational to democracy,” said Murdoch. “I am honored to recognize these four incredible women at the 2022 Courage in Journalism Awards and further support the IWMF’s work to break barriers in the news media.”

About the 2022 Courage in Journalism Award Winners

Lynsey Addario (United States) ­– Photojournalist

Twitter: @lynseyaddario, Instagram: @lynseyaddario

Lynsey Addario is an American photojournalist who has been covering conflict, humanitarian crises, and women’s issues around the Middle East and Africa on assignment for The New York Times and National Geographic for more than two decades. Since September 11, 2001, Addario has covered conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Lebanon, Darfur, South Sudan, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Yemen, Syria, and ongoing war in Ukraine.

Addario is the recipient of numerous awards, including a MacArthur fellowship. She was part of The New York Times team to win a Pulitzer Prize for overseas reporting out of Afghanistan and Pakistan, an Overseas Press Club Olivier Rebbot Award, and two Emmy nominations. In 2015, Addario wrote a New York Times best-selling memoir, “It’s What I Do,” which chronicles her personal and professional life as a photojournalist coming of age in the post-9/11 world. In 2018, she released her first solo collection of photography, “Of Love and War,” published by Penguin Press.

After nearly three months in Ukraine, Addario remarked, “I’m so honored to receive this award. Every day, I feel more passionate about the importance of journalism in our society, and I hope this award inspires aspiring and working female journalists to continue covering difficult and dangerous stories. We need to see the world through women’s eyes from all backgrounds and all ages.”

Read more of Addario’s story here.

Victoria Roshchyna (Ukraine) – Freelance Journalist

Victoria Roshchyna is a Ukrainian freelance journalist reporting for Ukrayinska Pravda, Hromadske and Radio Free Europe. Throughout her 8+ years in journalism, Roshchyna has primarily covered complex and dangerous topics – including crime, courts, human rights and war – to bring power to account.

Roshchyna has been reporting exclusively on the war in Ukraine since Russia’s invasion began in February 2022. In March 2022, Roshchyna was captured by Russian forces in the eastern regions of Ukraine held for 10 days in Berdyansk. Prior to her seizure, Roshchyna’s car was fired upon by Russian tanks near Gulyai Polya, surrounded, and looted.

Despite the risk, Roshchyna has continued reporting on the war, stating: “I was never afraid to tell the truth. People need to know the truth, and the guilty must be held accountable. I do not consider it courage but, rather, my professional duty.”

Read more of Roshchyna’s story here.

Cerise Castle (United States) ­– Freelance Journalist

Twitter: @cerisecastle, Instagram: @yourmajestce

Los Angeles, California-based freelance journalist Cerise Castle specializes in arts & culture, civil rights, crime, and human interest stories. She’s produced and hosted segments for the Emmy-award winning nightly news program, VICE News Tonight, NPR, and several podcasts. Her reporting and commentary have been featured in publications like Knock LA, the Daily Beast, the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Magazine, and MTV.

Castle wrote “A Tradition of Violence,” the first history of deputy gangs inside the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the largest local law enforcement agency in the United States. The investigation was published as a 15-part reporting series for Knock LA exposing 18 gangs, 19 documented murders (all of whom were people of color), and over $100 million dollars in lawsuits paid for by the people of Los Angeles. The podcast of the same name and subject matter is due out in October 2022.

Castle commented, “This award is an acknowledgment of the relentless work of families impacted by deputy violence, and the LA County communities that lifted their voices to seek out the truth. I hope this inspires others to begin their own investigations of powers that have historically avoided accountability.”

Read more of Castle’s story here.

Xueqin (Sophia) Huang (People’s Republic of China) – Freelance Journalist

Sophia Huang is a Chinese freelance journalist, reporting on issues related to human rights and gender equality in China. She also self-publishes on Matters, an online platform for civil discourse, and shared her observations of the protests in Hong Kong in 2019. Huang described witnessing the protesters’ resiliency firsthand and including her own thoughts on resistance to political tyranny, “抵抗暴政,从生活小事开始,” which landed her in Residential Surveillance at a Designated Location (RSDL) – a form of government detention of individuals accused of endangering state security – for three months from October 2019 to January 2020.

Huang is also a feminist activist, who came forth with her story of sexual harassment and conducted the only online survey of Chinese female journalists’ experiences with workplace sexual harassment in 2018.

In 2021, her article on female activist Li Qiaochu, “女性抗爭者李翹楚: ‘我有英雄情結, 但我幻想的英雄是我自己,’” published by Initium Media, received an award for Excellence in Reporting on Women’s Issues from the Society of Publishers in Asia (SOPA), an organization that recognizes individuals for outstanding journalism. Three months after receiving this award, Huang went missing en route to the United Kingdom, where she was to begin a masters program. One month later, it came to light that she was detained for, “inciting subversion of state power.” Huang is still in detention, and her case is with the Guangzhou City People’s Procuratorate.

About the International Women’s Media Foundation

The International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) is the only global non-profit organization that offers emergency support, safety training, global reporting opportunities, and funding for both staff reporters and freelancers, all specifically tailored for women and gender diverse journalists. Our mission is to ensure more opportunities, bylines, and recognition of women and nonbinary journalists and create a greater diversity of voices in journalism. Follow the IWMF on Twitter at @IWMF, on Facebook at @IWMFPage, on Instagram on @TheIWMF and on TikTok @theiwmf.

# # #

Media Contact:
Charlotte Fox