Women of Courage in Journalism
The International Women’s Media Foundation has been honoring women journalists for their courage since its inception. Every year they also recognize a journalist in prison to boost their cause. We were privileged to witness Nima Elgabir, Rosario Mosso Castro and Meridith Kohut in a conversation with Professor Cowan as well as senior fellow Narda Zacchino. Each of these women have displayed tremendous courage in their career and have been honored for the same.
Nima Elgabir, a senior CNN correspondent, emphasized her role in “giving voice to the vulnerable”. She was responsible for bringing to the forefront the story of slavery in Libya in 2018 and also documented the Ebola outbreak from its epicenter at personal risk. She has gone into these dangerous circumstances herself undercover and has hidden security cameras in her handbags to bring to the world the stories of helpless people. As for her thoughts on fear while taking on such challenging work, “Scariest thought is going in there and not getting the story”, she says.
Meredith Kohut, a photojournalist associated with the New York Times, is known for her phenomenal work in Venezuela. She has been beaten, faced tear gassed and punched by soldiers but nothing has stopped her from stepping out to document the horrific state of affairs in Venezuela. Her story on child malnutrition in Venezuela, covered by the New York Times got UNICEF to intervene in the matter. She also broke the story of medicine shortages in the Government Psychiatry Hospital in Venezuela. She finds courage every day because she feels the reality of many things is so unknown, it is our moral responsibility to tell these stories.
Rosario Mosso Castro, the editor of her own publication in Mexico, is a well-respected journalist covering crime and drug trafficking in Mexico. She herself along with her work has a relationship with the society of Mexico and the good people in the government. This is what keeps her going. Castro stressed the protection of sources as most of her investigations and stories have begun with receiving documents at her doorstep. She has faced numerous threats and is constantly tracked by government officials. “We do feel fear, we just don’t let it stop us”, she says.
Zehra Dogan, artist and journalist, was not able to be there with us in person as she is in prison for her work in Turkey. However, the AV on her work and story shook and motivated each one of us.
This was an opportunity for me to realize how extraordinary the job of a journalist is. They put their lives in jeopardy every single day to bring to us stories from across the world. Their courage and demeanor must be respected and celebrated.