[WASHINGTON, DC, June 16, 2017]: — The International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) has established a new award to honor the memory of Gwen Ifill, the legendary co-anchor of the PBS Newshour, who passed away in November 2016. Ifill was a bright light in the news industry, an incredible role model and mentor for young journalists – especially women journalists of color – and a friend of the IWMF. The Award will be given annually to an outstanding woman journalist of color whose work carries forward Ifill’s legacy.
Judy Woodruff, Ifill’s co-anchor on the PBS Newshour and an IWMF founder said, “My dear friend Gwen Ifill was a trail-blazing journalist who believed passionately in the need to open doors for other women journalists, to make sure that especially young women of color had the same opportunities she’d had. This program developed by the IWMF will help ensure that Gwen’s goal is realized. She would be thrilled to know her legacy lives on in this and so many other ways. “
The 2017 honoree will be announced at the IWMF’s Courage in Journalism Awards ceremony in Washington, DC on October 23, which will be held at the Newseum and hosted by Woodruff. Courage in Journalism Award ceremonies will also take place in New York on October 18 and in Los Angeles on October 25.
In addition to the award, the IWMF will develop a corresponding program focused on mentorship and network building. It will be open to both journalism students and women journalists of color working in the news media.
Candidates for the award will be evaluated on criteria including their record of outstanding achievement in journalism, and the extent to which they represent the values Ifill embodied, including in the areas of mentorship, leadership, and commitment to diversity in journalism.
Now in its 28th year, the IWMF Courage in Journalism Awards celebrate women journalists who set themselves apart through extraordinary bravery. The Lifetime Achievement Award honors one woman who has set new standards for journalists and encourages future generations of reporters to find their voices.
In addition to the winner of the Gwen Ifill Award, the IWMF’s 2017 Courage in Journalism Awards will honor: Deborah Amos (USA), Middle East reporter for National Public Radio (NPR) News; Saniya Toiken (Kazakhstan), a reporter for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty; and Hadeel al-Yamani (Yemen), the first woman to become an Al Jazeera Arabic (AJA) television correspondent in Yemen. Andrea Mitchell, a leading reporter at NBC News for nearly 40 years, who currently serves as the network’s chief foreign affairs correspondent, will be recognized with the IWMF’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Stephanie Sinclair, winner of the 2017 Anja Niedringhaus Courage in Photojournalism Awards will also be recognized during the Awards ceremony.
Funds raised at the events sustain IWMF programs and grants that empower women journalists with the training, opportunities, and support to become leaders in the news industry, including direct support for the IWMF’s Emergency Fund, which supports female journalists in crisis.
More information on the IWMF Courage in Journalism Awards and a complete list of past winners can be found here. Follow event announcements on social media via #IWMFcourage.
About the IWMF
Since 1990, the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) has worked to unleash the potential of women journalists as champions of press freedom to transform the global news media. We seek to ensure that women journalists worldwide are fully supported, protected, recognized and rewarded for their vital contributions at all levels of the news media. As a result, consumers will increase their demand for news with a diversity of voices, stories and perspectives as a cornerstone of democracy and free expression. Through our programs and grants, we empower women journalists with the training, opportunities, and support to become leaders in the news industry.
Learn more at www.iwmf.org