<\body> Stories in America: Honoring Women Journalists

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Honoring Women Journalists

The International Women's Media Foundation yesterday honored four females for their couragous reporting. This is from the AP:

An Associated Press war photographer from Germany, a crime reporter from Bangladesh who was stabbed and beaten, and the founder of a magazine threatened with closure by Iran's government because of its coverage of women's rights all received Courage in Journalism Awards on Tuesday from the International Women's Media Foundation.

The foundation's 15th annual awards were presented to Anja Niedringhaus, Sumi Khan and Shahla Sherkat at a luncheon at the Waldorf-Astoria attended by more than 500 people who support its belief that "no press is truly free unless women share an equal voice."

Sumi Khan, 35, reports on politics, crime, minority persecution, Islamic fundamentalism and corruption in Chittagong for the Dhaka paper Daily Samakal and is the only woman crime reporter in the city.

Shahla Sherkat, 49, a journalist for 24 years, is the owner and editorial director of the magazine Zanan, or Women, which she founded in Tehran in 1991 because she felt mainstream journalism was ignoring women's rights in Iran. Zanan's offices were attacked by fundamentalist gangs in the early and mid-1990s, and in January 2001 Tehran's Revolutionary Court charged Ms Sherkat with anti-Islamic activities after she attended a conference in Berlin on reforms in Iran. She appealed a four-month sentence but had to pay a fine worth two months' salary.

Anja Niedringhaus, 40, who has worked on the front lines covering every major conflict from the Balkans in the 1990s to the war in Iraq, was blown out of a car by a grenade while caught in a crossfire in 2002 in Kosovo and was part of a group mistakenly bombed by NATO forces at the Albania-Kosovo border crossing. She was the only woman on a team of 11 AP photographers awarded the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news photography.


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