Leading news personalities turned out in record numbers to celebrate the 25th IWMF Courage in Journalism Awards
New York, NY ? Almost 600 of the United States’ leading journalists and news personalities gathered in New York on October 22 to celebrate the 25th IWMF Courage in Journalism Awards, a ceremony hosted by Cynthia McFadden (NBC News) and Norah O’Donnell (CBS News), and were presented by Eugene Robinson, Maria Elena Salinas, Lesley Stahl, and Judy Woodruff.

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The Award that honors women journalists for their courageous reporting were presented to Arwa Damon, a Beirut-based CNN correspondent, Solange Lusiku Nsimire, an editor in chief in Eastern DR Congo, and Brankica Stankovi?, an investigative TV reporter in Serbia.

?The first Awards were launched with the foundation of the IWMF in 1990, during a dinner ceremony at the National Museum for Women in the Arts. Since then, more than 100 women have received Courage and Lifetime Achievement Awards.? said Cynthia McFadden and Norah O’Donnell in their welcoming remarks. ?These women are divided by continents, decades, and experiences. But they are united by courage. Each one has stood for the truth, for openness and justice in places where people suffer for lack of both?, McFadden continued.

In her acceptance speech, Arwa Damon dedicated her Award to ?everyone in the industry and all those beyond it who have sacrificed their lives in their respective fights for basic freedom.?

?In my country, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, there is a rampant fear of speaking out against the authorities that is manifested by censorship and self-censorship in the media. At our newspaper, censorship has no place, nor self-censorship, either,? explained Solange Lusiku Nsimire.

Serbian journalist Brankica Stankovi?, who has been living under 24/7 police protection since 2009, told the audience: ?My life, because of everything that happened to me, has become something like an action-packed thriller, but I alone chose that path and I will not give up.?

Alexandra Trower, Executive Vice President of Global Communications for The Estee Lauder Companies Inc., and Vice-Chair of the IWMF Board of Directors, was honored with the IWMF Leadership Award for her decades-long career in executive leadership at major international companies and her years of support for the IWMF?s work.

At the Award ceremony, the IWMF paid tribute to AP photographer and 2005 Courage Award winner Anja Niedringhaus who was killed in Afghanistan earlier this year. In honor of her life and work, the IWMF launched the new Anja Niedringhaus Courage in Photojournalism Award, created with a $1 million grant from the Howard G. Buffett Foundation.

The 2014 Courage in Journalism Awards in New York have been made possible through the generous support of Bank of America.

The 2014 Courage Award winners are available for interviews in New York (October 24-25) and Los Angeles (October 27-29). Press photos are available for download at iwmf.org/press. For additional information, contact Anna Schiller, [email protected], 202 603 0008, visit iwmf.org/courage, and follow #IWMFcourage on Twitter (@IWMF).

Founded in 1990 by a group of prominent U.S. women journalists, the International Women’s Media Foundation is a Washington-based organization that is dedicated to strengthening the role of women journalists worldwide. The IWMF believes the news media worldwide are not truly free and representative without the equal voice of women. The IWMF celebrates the courage of women journalists who overcome threats and oppression to speak out on global issues. The IWMF’s programs empower women journalists with the training, support and network to become leaders in the news industry.

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