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Courage in Journalism Awards: Meet the women who risk their lives for their job

By Anna Schiller
updated 12:43 AM EDT, Wed October 30, 2013
Edna Machirori (L), Najiba Ayubi and Bopha Phorn were honored at the
Edna Machirori (L), Najiba Ayubi and Bopha Phorn were honored at the "Courage in Journalism Awards" for 2013.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Some of the bravest women journalists are being honored at an awards night in Los Angeles
  • The International Women's Media Foundation is honoring some of the world's bravest journalists
  • The winners are of the Courage in Journalism awards are from Afghanistan, Cambodia, Syria
  • There is also a Lifetime Achievement Award for a journalist from Zimbabwe

Editor's note: Anna Schiller is the Communications Strategist for The International Women's Media Foundation.

Washington (CNN) -- Security is an elusive thing for journalists, women in particular. Every year, the International Women's Media Foundation honors four women journalists for their courage in reporting the news and promoting the advancement of women in the news media.

During the last 25 years, 100 women from all over the world have been recognized with the IWMF's Courage in Journalism and Lifetime Achievement Awards. This year's honorees have travelled from Afghanistan, Cambodia, Syria, and Zimbabwe to receive their Awards in Los Angeles.

Najiba Ayubi is the director of The Killid Group, a media organization that in cooperation with affiliated outlets broadcasts news in all provinces of Afghanistan. Ayubi has confronted numerous terrifying experiences in her 25 years as a journalist, including gunmen at her house, defamation in state-run media, and lawsuits by members of parliament.

Nour Kelze became a photojournalist for Reuters in Aleppo after the conflict in Syria began, and has been covering the front lines of the revolution at great risk to her reputation and life.

Bopha Phorn, an editor for The Cambodia Daily in Phnom Penh, is not only one of very few female journalists in Cambodia, she is also one of very few journalists who investigate corruption and power abuse in Cambodia. In 2012, Phorn was investigating illegal logging in the Cambodian jungle and barely escaped death when gunmen opened fire on the car she was traveling in. An environmental activist who was with her was killed.

Zimbabwean journalist Edna Machirori, who is being honored with the IWMF Lifetime Achievement Award, started her career in journalism 50 years ago, before Zimbabwe's independence, and later became the country's first female black newspaper editor.

The Award ceremony on Tuesday will be co-hosted by actress Olivia Wilde and Glamour magazine's editor-in-chief Cindi Leive. Award presenters will include Marcia Gay Harden and Maria Shriver.

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