The International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) announces the 2015 Courage in Journalism and Lifetime Achievement Award winners: Mwape Kumwenda, a reporter for Muvi Television in Zambia; Anna Nemtsova, a contributor for The Daily Beast and Newsweek in Russia; Lourdes Ramírez, a freelance journalist in Honduras; andLinda Deutsch, a special correspondent and trial reporter (retired) for the Associated Press.
“At a time when journalists face deteriorating security conditions and press freedom is on the decline in many regions of the world, it is a honor to recognize these women and their commitment to empowering communities with the truth,” said IWMF Executive Director Elisa Lees Muñoz. “These courageous women raise the bar for reporting under duress and are representative of the countless journalists who uncover the truth every day from remote villages, halls of leadership, and the front lines of conflict.”
Now in it’s 26th year, the IWMF Courage in Journalism Awards honors women journalists who set themselves apart by their extraordinary bravery, and the Lifetime Achievement Award is given in recognition of media industry pioneers who kick down barriers to equality and justice.
2015 Courage in Journalism Award Winners
Mwape Kumwenda | Zambia Head of Community and Political News, Muvi Television
Constantly scrutinized for her in-depth reports uncovering social and economic injustices in Zambia, Mwape Kumwenda has influenced national policy and institutional reform. Her reporting has triggered investigations, resignations, and hundreds of arrests. Threatened with criminal prosecution, Kumwenda has fortified her work with an unwavering commitment to exposing hard truths.
Anna Nemtsova | Russia Moscow-based Contributor, The Daily Beast and Newsweek
Anna Nemtsova has been detained and held at gunpoint for her work in journalism. She has covered significant social justice issues and the conflicts in the Caucasus and Ukraine where she was exposed to indiscriminate artillery fire. Despite significant threats, she continues to unearth abuse of power and is driven by a deep compassion for marginalized communities.
Lourdes Ramírez | Honduras Freelance Journalist
For more than 20 years, Lourdes Ramírez has exposed human rights atrocities in Honduras at great personal risk. Ramírez pursues stories of corruption, unspeakable violence, and unsolved murders. As a result of her reporting, her family has been threatened, her employment has been terminated, and she has been forced to relocate and temporarily flee the country.
2015 Lifetime Achievement Award Winner
Linda Deutsch | USA Special Correspondent Trial Reporter (retired), Associated Press
After nearly 50 years reporting on legal trials across the U.S., Associated Press Special Correspondent Linda Deutsch retired in December 2014 from a long and illustrious career. She has been a trailblazer and role model for women journalists. Her exemplary years of coverage of the American legal system made her a pioneer in the newsroom. She demystified some of the most high-profile cases in American legal history.
The award winners will be honored at ceremonies in New York on October 21, 2015 and Los Angeles on October 27, 2015. Bank of America is National Presenting Sponsor of the events for the tenth consecutive year.
Since 1990, the IWMF has honored more than 100 women journalists from 54 countries. Past award winners include Christiane Amanpour, Lydia Cacho, Arwa Damon, Solange Lusiku Nsimire, Anja Niedringhaus, Barbara Walters, and Gao Yu. For a full history of the IWMF Courage in Journalism Awards and a complete list of past winners, visit iwmf.org/courage.
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About the IWMF: For 25 years, the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) has been dedicated to strengthening the role of women journalists worldwide. The media is not truly free and representative without the equal voice of women. Our work celebrates the courage of women journalists who overcome threats and oppression to report and bear witness to global issues. Through our programs and grants we empower women journalists with the training, opportunities, and support to become leaders in the news industry. www.iwmf.org