Press Freedom Speaker Series

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Over the past 31 years, the IWMF has been fortunate to mentor, train and celebrate the bravest and most nuanced voices in news media. Together, we’ve built a community of women who make our news feeds more diverse and balanced, driving forward critical change in the journalism industry. This change feels more important now than ever, which is why we’re bringing you directly into our community! The IWMF’s Press Freedom Speaker Series brings together thought leaders and experts to discuss the intersection of news media, gender equity and diversity. In a series of virtual conversations, we’ll take on some of the most pressing issues in journalism – and for democracy at large. You’ll hear from the changemakers and groundbreakers who inspire us to push our work forward, and who will leave you with key takeaways about our evolving news media landscape. Find information about upcoming and past events below – we hope to see you online soon!

Upcoming Events

Stay tuned for more information about our future events!

Past Event Recordings

October 2021: Through Her Lens: The 2021 Anja Niedringhaus Award Honorees

The Anja Niedringhaus Courage in Photojournalism Award honors women photojournalists who take risks to capture humanity in dire circumstances. This year’s award was given to Palestinian journalist Fatima Shbair, whose portfolio shared heartbreak and hope captured from Gaza City in May 2021. Honorable mentions were awarded to Adriana Zehbrauskas (Brazil), who captured powerful portrayals of migration and the toll of COVID-19 in Latin America; and, Kiana Hayeri (Iran-Canada), who showed the looming crisis in Afghanistan.

In this conversation, National Geographic’s Susan Goldberg speaks with Fatima, Adriana and Kiana about their work and what it means to be a courageous photojournalist.

This event was hosted in collaboration with the Washington Post Press Freedom Partnership. The Anja Niedringhaus Courage in Photojournalism Award is supported by the Howard G. Buffett Foundation.

September 2021: Opening Doors: Black women journalists lifting up a new generation

Since 2017, the IWMF’s Gwen Ifill Award has celebrated women journalists of color who honor Gwen’s legacy through their mentorship, leadership, and excellence in journalism. During this event, the IWMF was joined by all four of these barrier-breaking women – Michele Norris, Karen Toulon, Nikole Hannah-Jones and Yamiche Alcindor. Moderated by NPR’s Michel Martin, the discussion covered the Awardees’ incredible careers, the importance of mentorship and community, and the realities of being prominent Black women in journalism.

August 2021: Truth and Consequences: The Cost of Reporting on Russia and Post-Soviet Countries

As one of the most well-respected – and outspoken – independent journalists in Russia, 2015 IWMF Courage in Journalism Award winner Anna Nemtsova puts her life on the line to bring truth to light. Despite harrowing threats, including being held at gunpoint, kidnapped, detained and interrogated, she remains committed to sharing stories of corruption and oppression.  In conversation with The Washington Post’s Mary Jordan, Anna discussed the current media landscape in Russia, and share why she has persisted to hold power to account through her reporting. powered by Crowdcast

June 2021: Exposing and Enduring Violence: The Reporting of Lydia Cacho

For decades, Mexican journalist Lydia Cacho has endured constant threats, harassment and attacks for her work exposing some of the country’s darkest truths. A 2007 IWMF Courage in Journalism Award winner, Lydia has persisted through incredible odds to investigate child abuse, sex trafficking and femicide in Mexico. In conversation with The Meteor’s Cindi Leive, Lydia shared why she reports despite the risks and how she has persevered through abuse, attacks, harassment and online violence. This event was hosted in partnership with Washington Post Press Freedom Partnership and The Meteor.

May 2021: Whose Press Freedom? The Missing Representation of Women in the Media

Women’s voices continue to be underrepresented in the global news media. A 2020 report commissioned by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation,  “The Missing Perspectives of Women in News,” found that women’s representation in the news has actually flatlined – if not reversed – in the 21st century. Report author Luba Kassova shared the key results of the report, followed by a discussion on the impact this continued marginalization has on global press freedom with Capital B’s Lauren Williams and Bloomberg’s Laura Zelenko, moderated by URL Media’s S. Mitra Kalita. powered by Crowdcast

April 2021: Cancel Harassment Culture: Fighting Online Violence

Women journalists face online violence simply for doing their job — and the problem is growing. The New York Times’ Kara Swisher and 2020 Courage in Journalism Awardee Jessikka Aro joined the IWMF’s Press Freedom Speaker Series and The Washington Post’s Press Freedom Partnership for a conversation on the impact of online violence on press freedom. Aro shared her own experience with relentless abuse from Russian Trolls, and the two considered how online violence endangers women’s voices in the global news media. powered by Crowdcast

March 2021: They’re Speaking: Women Covering the White House

For the first time in history, women are leading the charge as Chief White House Correspondents for most major TV networks. Led by award-winning journalist Andrea Mitchell of NBC News, the IWMF’s Press Freedom Speaker Series brought together four of these history-making women. Watch the recording to hear from Kristen Welker (NBC), Nancy Cordes (CBS), Cecilia Vega (ABC) and Kaitlan Collins (CNN) on the importance of diverse voices in White House coverage, the realities of reporting on the new administration and the future of press freedom and gender equity in news media.

October 2020: A Lifetime of Bravery: Then and Now

The IWMF has been celebrating the bravery of women journalists around the world for 30 years. While the challenges have evolved over three decades, women journalists still face barriers to report the truth. In conversation with IWMF co-founder Susan King, hear from previous Courage in Journalism Award winners Catherine Gicheru (1992), Claudia Duque (2010) and Janine di Giovanni (2016) about what’s changed for women journos in the past 30 years, and where we go from here. powered by Crowdcast

October 2020: Women Reporting on the Frontlines in the U.S.

Throughout months of protests for racial justice in the United States, journalists have remained on the ground bringing vital reporting to the American public. Covering this unrest takes mental, physical and emotional tolls: since protests began, more than 800 journalists have reported experiencing aggression from law enforcement or civilians, and nearly 200 have been attacked. PBS Senior National Correspondent Amna Nawaz spoke with two recipients of the IWMF’s U.S. Journalism Emergency Fund – freelancer Vanessa Charlot and AJ+’s Cydney Tucker – about what it’s like to be a woman journalist of color on the frontlines of civil unrest in the U.S. powered by Crowdcast

September 2020: “Shrill.” “Ambitious.” “Electable?” Coverage of Women in the 2020 Campaign

With a historic Vice Presidential candidate and more women running for office, how can journalists cover women fairly on the 2020 campaign trail? Hosted in partnership with The Press Forward, this event discussed how to change the media narrative around women candidates in 2020. Moderated by Dr. Gracie Lawson-Borders, Dean of Howard University’s School of Communication, the panel included Time’s Up Now President and CEO Tina Tchen, Bloomberg Head of Editorial Standards Laura Zelenko, and Wall Street Journal national politics reporter Sabrina Siddiqui. powered by Crowdcast

July 2020: A Seat at the Table: Building Inclusion into Political Reporting

Held in partnership with The 19th, July’s Press Freedom Speaker Series event focused on the importance of diversity in political reporting. The 19th, a nonprofit, nonpartisan newsroom reporting at the intersection of gender, politics and policy, is transforming the way news is told. In conversation with IWMF Executive Director Elisa Lees Muñoz, The 19th’s co-founder Emily Ramshaw, editor-at-large Errin Haines and editor-in-chief Andrea Valdez discussed their revolutionary work in bringing an intersectional lens to political journalism.

June 2020: “A Silenced Voice: The Life of Journalist Kim Wall”

Kim’s parents, Ingrid and Joachim Wall, joined the IWMF and PBS NewsHour’s Judy Woodruff for a conversation on the Walls’ book, “A Silenced Voice: The Life of Journalist Kim Wall.” Since Kim’s murder, Ingrid and Joachim have worked to secure Kim’s legacy as a skilled and passionate journalist and as a bright, funny, complicated, ethical, and selfless young woman, through their touching book. Together, they shared how we can carry forward Kim’s legacy and prioritizes empathetic, nuanced coverage through the lens of current events.