June 24, 2014 — In collaboration with the IWMF, Truthdig has launched an initiative called Global Voices: Truthdig Women Reporting. The project creates a network of female foreign correspondents from various countries who have all been honored by the IWMF for their courageous journalism. Since 1990, the IWMF’s awards have recognized female reporters who risk their lives to expose the truth around the world.
“We have long admired the outstanding IWMF Courage Award journalists who willingly put their lives and often those of their families on the line to report the news. We are so pleased to provide a platform for their voices to be heard more widely,” said Zuade Kaufman, publisher of Truthdig. “Women journalists report from a unique point of view that we believe will hold great interest for our readers, who have a thirst for a deeper understanding of our world.” She said the first Global Voices article by Zubeida Mustafa of Pakistan appeared today.
The IWMF has recognized courageous female journalists for the past 20 years, noted Elisa Lees Munoz, its executive director. “Our winners have been killed, shot at, jailed and persecuted. They set the bar for reporting under duress. Today their reporting is confined to their own print, broadcast or blog outlet and it’s so gratifying to have Truthdig open the door to a broader audience,” she said.
Munoz explained that these courage awards often give these reporters a shield by shining a spotlight on them outside their own countries. “Publication by Truthdig will bring even greater attention to these women, giving them another layer of protection,” she said.
Added Kaufman, “We envision a wide range of reporting through this project. We may choose an issue that affects many countries and ask reporters to provide a view from their region. For example, today’s major economic transformation fueled primarily by a female labor force is causing radical societal changes in many countries, rewriting thousands of years of family and village histories. This is a great human rights story and one that has barely been reported.
“We also expect to publish highly individual stories in which a reporter will write about an issue that particularly affects her country or a commentary on a subject in which she has expertise or a particular interest.”
Another aspect of Global Voices: Truthdig Women Reporting will be a mentoring program in which the selected journalists will guide younger reporters in their countries. “It’s critical to help train the next generation of young journalists,” Kaufman pointed out. “Impeccable standards are especially important when a reporter is doing the risky, progressive journalism Truthdig wants to foster.”
IWMF Courage and Lifetime Achievement journalists who will report for Truthdig include: Khadija Ismayilova of Azerbaijan, Sumi Khan of Bangladesh, Claudia Julieta Duque of Colombia, Elena Poniatowska of Mexico, Zubeida Mustafa of Pakistan, Peta Thornycroft of South Africa, Chiranuch Premchaiporn of Thailand, and Edna Machirori of Zimbabwe.
Elisa Munoz (IWMF) and Zuade Kaufman (Truthdig) | Lisa Nipp Photography