It takes courage to report the news in many parts of the world. Each year, the International Women’s Media Foundation honors that courage and promotes the importance of a free press with its Courage in Journalism Awards, the only international awards that recognize the bravery of women journalists.
About the Courage in Journalism Awards
May 3, 2013 -- Each year, the Courage in Journalism Awards honor three women journalists who have demonstrated extraordinary strength of character in pursuing their profession under difficult or dangerous circumstances, such as government oppression, threats to personal safety and other intimidating obstacles.
This year, the IWMF honors:
Najiba Ayubi, 45, managing director for The Killid Group in Afghanistan. Ayubi has spent more than a decade working under anonymous threats and attacks from government entities for her reporting on politics and women’s rights. She leads a team of reporters working in print, broadcast and online media and has refused calls for censorship.
Nour Kelze, 25, photojournalist for Reuters in Syria. Kelze occupies the front lines of the conflict in her country, working to document the human cost of the Syrian revolution. She has been shot at countless times, hospitalized twice for wounds sustained while photographing, and targeted in pro-Assad propaganda.
Bopha Phorn, 28, reporter for The Cambodia Daily in Cambodia. Phorn’s reporting on environmental exploitation nearly got her killed in April 2012, when her car came under heavy fire during a reporting trip in the Cambodian jungle. Her coverage of crime, land rights abuses and human rights issues have led to ongoing threats.
Read Award winner profiles
The Courage in Journalism Awards and Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented at ceremonies in New York on October 23rd and in Los Angeles on October 29th. Bank of America is National Presenting Sponsor of the events.
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78 journalists have been honored with Courage in Journalism Awards. Previous Award winners include Khadija Ismayilova, RFE/RL, Azerbaijan; Adela Navarro Bello, Zeta, Mexico; Tsering Woeser, blogger and writer, Tibet; Jill Carroll, The Christian Science Monitor, United States; May Chidiac, Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation, Lebanon; and Anna Politkovskaya, Novaya Gazeta, Russia (d. 2006).
About the Lifetime Achievement Award
The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes a woman journalist who has a pioneering spirit and whose
determination has paved the way for women in the news media.
The 2013 IWMF Lifetime Achievement Award goes to Edna Machirori, the first black female newspaper editor in Zimbabwe. As a woman journalist in post-colonial Zimbabwe, Machirori rose through the ranks of several newspapers, including The Chronicle and The Financial Gazette, in spite of a deeply patriarchal culture. Now, Machirori continues to write about development, corruption and social issues for The Daily News, among other publications.
Read Award winner profiles
The Courage in Journalism Awards and Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented at ceremonies in New York on October 23rd and in Los Angeles on October 29th.
Bank of America is National Presenting Sponsor of the events.
Including the 2013 award winner, 22 journalists have been honored with the IWMF Lifetime Achievement Award. Previous Award winners include Zubeida Mustafa, columnist, Pakistan; Kate Adie, BBC News, Untied Kingdom; Barbara Walters, ABC News, United States; and Magdalena Ruiz, Radio Mitre, Argentina.
2012 Award Winners
Reeyot Alemu, 31, a columnist for the Ethiopian newspaper Feteh, is in prison for 5 years after being convicted of conspiracy to commit terrorist acts and participation in a terrorist organization.
Asmaa al-Ghoul, 30, a Palestinian blogger and writer, regularly receives death threats and has been beaten by Hamas security forces while covering protests.
Khadija Ismayilova, 35, a talk show host on RFE/RL’s Azerbaijani Service who covers corruption and abuse of power by the government elite, was threatened and had surveillance cameras planted in her apartment in an effort to silence her.
2012 Lifetime Achievement Award Winner
Zubeida Mustafa, 70, is a Pakistani journalist who has worked for more than three decades at Dawn, one of Pakistan’s oldest and most widely circulated English-language newspapers. She was the first woman to work at the paper, which she did in the capacity of assistant editor and columnist. She helped to enact hiring policies favorable to women and promoted women’s equality in the newsroom. She has mentored dozens of young women in media and has spent her career writing serious and in-depth stories on issues including health care, economic inequality and political agency for women. Today, despite weakened eyesight, she continues to write prolifically and regularly contributes columns to Dawn.
2012 Lifetime Achievement Awardee
About the Awards
The IWMF Courage in Journalism Awards honor women journalists who have shown extraordinary strength of character and integrity while reporting the news under dangerous or difficult circumstances. The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes a woman journalist who has a pioneering spirit and whose determination has paved the way for women in the news media. Including this year’s award winners, 75 journalists have won Courage Awards and 21 journalists have been honored with Lifetime Achievement Awards.
Courage Award Winners 1990-2012
Past Courage Awardees: Where Are They Now?
Winning the IWMF Courage in Journalism Award does not mark the end of their careers - on the contrary, it motivates the Courage Awardees to continue their work under dangerous or difficult circumstances, to tell the stories many others don't dare to investigate, to prove that freedom of press is not up for compromise. And then, the storytellers become their own stories: stories of courage, struggle, resilience and success - stories worth telling.
Courage Awardee Updates