International Women’s Media Foundation Announces Winners of 2006 Courage in Journalism Awards
Washington, DC – An American freelance journalist who was held in captivity in Iraq and a Lebanese television broadcaster who survived a car bomb explosion are recipients of this year’s International Women’s Media Foundation Courage in Journalism Award.
These women journalists will receive Courage awards along with a Chinese journalist who was unable to accept a 1995 Courage in Journalism Award due to her imprisonment. All three women have shown dedication and bravery in their coverage of topics such as war, politics and women’s rights.
“This year’s Courage winners are committed to fair, honest reporting, even when it means taking risks or suffering dangerous consequences,” said Judy Woodruff, chair of the Courage in Journalism Awards. “Their work makes them champions of a free press.”
Winners of the 2006 Courage in Journalism Awards are:
- Jill Carroll, 28, a freelance reporter working for The Christian Science Monitor. Carroll was abducted January 7 in Iraq after she was attacked along with a driver and an interpreter. Her interpreter, Allan Eniwya, was killed. Carroll was released March 30 after 82 days in captivity and returned to the U.S. on April 2.
- May Chidiac, 42, a former broadcast journalist for the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation. Chidiac, one of the best known faces on Lebanese television and a critic of Syria’s involvement in Lebanon, every Sunday presented the program “Naharkom Saiid” (Good Day). But last September, she lost a hand and a leg when a bomb exploded under the driver’s seat of her car. She had just hosted a show addressing Syria’s possible involvement in former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri’s assassination. Chidiac is recovering from her injuries but plans to resume her broadcasting career in Lebanon.
- Gao Yu, 62, an economic and political reporter from China. Gao was sentenced in 1993 to six years in prison for “leaking state secrets,” through a pro-Chinese newspaper in Hong Kong. Her writing and involvement in the 1989 pro-democracy movement and her willingness to jeopardize her safety and career in the service of freedom, democracy and human rights significantly contributed to the free press movement. Gao was released from prison on medical parole in March 1999.
The IWMF also announced that it will present its Lifetime Achievement Award to Elena Poniatowska Amor, 74, a renowned journalist and author from Mexico. The French-born Poniatowska spent the majority of her nearly half-century career reporting for Novedades, where she worked until 2000. A collaborator and contributor to various Mexican media outlets throughout her career, Poniatowska was one of the founders of Cineteca Nacional, La Jornada and Siglo XXI, one of Mexico’s most prestigious publishing houses. In 1979 she was the first woman to receive Mexico’s National Journalism Prize. Her work has been translated into numerous languages.
The International Women’s Media Foundation created the Courage in Journalism Awards in 1990 to honor women journalists who have shown extraordinary strength of character and integrity while reporting the news under dangerous or difficult circumstances. This year’s awards will be presented at ceremonies in New York on October 24 and in Los Angeles on November 2.
The IWMF was launched in 1990; its mission is to strengthen the role of women in the news media worldwide. The IWMF network includes more than 1,500 women and men in the media in more than 130 countries worldwide.
For more information about the winners or about the Courage in Journalism Award, visit the IWMF website at http://www.iwmf.org