The International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) honored three women with Courage in Journalism awards last night. The speakers and presenters included noted women journalists such as Katherine Graham, Judy Woodruff, Cynthia Tucker and Cokie Roberts.
The $2,000 awards went to women who have put their lives at risk for news — Bina Bektiati, a freelance journalist in Indonesia, Corrine Dufka, Reuters chief photographer in East Africas, and Maribel Gutierrez Moreno, founder of a weekly Mexican newspaper.
“I feel fortunate to have been able to take pictures that have made people stop and feel for others, not very different from you or me, who are trying to live their lives and maintain a sense of hope with the devastating context of war,” said Dufka. Besides Africa, she has also covered the former Yugoslavia and human rights abuses in El Salvador.
Gutierrez, who has been subjected to government intimidation because of her work on opposition peasant groups, said “This is part of the political violence we live under in our state.”
Bektiati, who is the first winner from Indonesia to actually attend the ceremony despite fears of persecution, said “I live in a country that has more than 100 newspapers and magazines, and where the press jargon ‘free and responsible’ really means ‘hardly free.'” She helped organize the country’s first independent journalist’s union, and fights governmental control of the media.
IWMF also honored the late Nancy Woodhull, one of the founding editors of USA Today. IWMF co-chairwoman Maureen Bunyan said “Nancy was a tireless advocate of quality and equality in journalism. She dedicated herself to helping women and men of all backgrounds realize a career in the media.”