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International Women's Media Foundation Presents "Courage in Journalism" Awards to Outs

Now in its 28th year, the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) is bestowing this month upon three oustanding female reporters the Courage in Journalism award.

The annual award recognizes women journalists who “set themselves apart through extraordinary bravery.” Founded in 1990, the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) works to increase the visibility of women journalists “as champions of press freedom to transform the global news media.”

This year’s recipients include US journalist Deborah Amos, who was kidnapped in Somalia and held in the Balkans and Iran for her determination to accurately cover these war-torn areas; Saniya Toiken of Kazakhstan - who has been routinely harassed and threatened for her journalistic reporting - and Hadeel al-Yamani, who is the first Al Jazeera Arabic (AJA) television correspondent in Yemen. Veteran on-air reporter Andrea Mitchell, a fixture on NBC News and MSNBC, also received the lifetime achievement award, which honors one woman who has “set new standards for journalists and encourages future generations of reporters to find their voices.” Mitchell is also a past recipient of the Matrix Award, the Goldsmith Career Award for Excellence in Journalism, and the Leonard Zeidenberg Award.

This year also marks the inception of an award presented in memory of the renowned Gwen Ifill, who, along with her co-anchor Judy Woodruff, had been a fixture of the PBS Newshour since 1999. Ifill, a Peabody award winner, was a staple of the political circle—she was the first African-American woman to host Washington Week in Review, and was the moderator of the 2004 and 2008 vice-presidential debates. Ifill also moderated the 2016 presidential debate between Hilary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Ifill passed away in November 2016 from endometrial cancer.

Photo: Gwen Ifill | Getty

The inaugural award will be given to an “outstanding woman journalist of color whose work carries forward Ifill’s legacy.” The 2017 honoree will be announced at the IWMF’s Courage in Journalism awards ceremony in Washington, DC on October 23. Judy Woodruff will serve as host. The New York ceremony, which was hosted by Norah O’Donnell of CBS News This Morning, was held October 18. Winners at the October 25 Los Angeles ceremony will be hosted by Willow Bay of the USC Annenberg School of Journalism and Today Show host Natalie Morales.

More information on the event can be found at

Source: International Women’s Media Foundation website

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