2011 Humana Writing Contest

The third annual essay contest for undergraduate women at Bellarmine University, sponsored by the Humana Foundation and the Institute for Media, Culture and Ethics, was a success with 50 students entering.

Five winners were selected and flew to New York City on the Humana corporate jet with Michael McCallister, chairman and CEO of  Humana and Virginia Judd, director of the Humana Foundation, along with Dr. Lara Needham, dean of the School of Communication and Ed Manassah, executive director of the Institute.

The students were guests at the annual Courage in Journalism Awards luncheon sponsored by the International Women in Media Foundation and were given the opportunity to meet the award winners and presenters.

The Bellarmine student winners are:

  • Savannah Cox, a senior foreign language, international studies major from Louisville. Read her essay.
  • Megan Ecker, a sophomore elementary education major from Louisville. Read her essay.
  • Chelsea Geach, an exchange student from Hout Bay, South Africa. Read her essay.
  • Margaret Hamilton, a senior sociology major from Louisville. Read her essay.
  • Beth Ann Hull, a junior history major from Sidney, Ohio. Read her essay.

Read additional essay submissions here.

Press release about the event and the award winners

International Women’s Media Foundation Honoring Four Brave Women Journalists Who Confronted Danger to Cover World News

Four brave women journalists who have risked their lives covering the news will be honored by the International Women’s Media Foundation with Courage in Journalism Awards and a Lifetime Achievement Award in Los Angeles on Oct. 24 and New York on Oct. 27.

IWMF’S Courage in Journalism Award winners face daunting challenges reporting the news in their countries.  Mexican drug cartels have threatened to kill Zeta editor Adela Navarro Bello and have already murdered two Zeta editors, Iranian officials have targeted and harassed Reuters bureau chief Parisa Hafezi and Thai authorities have charged Prachatai editor Chiranuch Premchaiporn with breaking the law for allowing 10 strangers to post anti-royal comments on her website. Premchaiporn is standing trial now, facing up to 20 years in prison in a test of Internet freedom.

Legendary reporter Kate Adie, BBC’s first chief news correspondent, will be awarded the IWMF’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Adie has paved the way for future generations of women journalists by covering breaking news from Bosnia to Sierra Leone for several decades.

“These courageous women have endured terrible hardships, without questioning their own safety. They face danger and violence to report the day’s most important stories, despite being targeted by authorities,” said IWMF Board Co-Chair Barbara Cochran. “We are honored to tell the world their stories.”

At the Los Angeles Courage in Journalism Awards dinner on Oct. 24 at The Beverly Hills Hotel, IWMF board member Cynthia McFadden of ABC News will be mistress of ceremonies. Joining her in honoring the winners will be Martha Raddatz, ABC News senior foreign affairs correspondent; Geoffrey Cowan, president of The Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands; Angelica Fuentes Tellez, CEO of Omnilife-Chivas, and Robert Scheer, former Los Angeles Times columnist and now Truthdig editor.  “Mad Men” TV actress Cara Buono will be an honored guest.

IWMF Courage Co-Chair Judy Woodruff of the PBS NewsHour will oversee the New York luncheon as mistress of ceremonies at the Waldorf=Astoria Hotel on Oct. 27.  Honoring the winners will be ABC’s Good Morning America anchor George Stephanopoulos, Jordan Media Institute founder HRH Princess Rym Ali and Bloomberg News White House correspondent Julianna Goldman.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will deliver a videotaped message at the events congratulating the women journalists for their brave efforts reporting the news.

The Courage National Presenting Sponsor is Bank of America. Co-Chairing the events are Bloomberg News and Walmart Stores, Inc.

Adela Navarro Bello, Courage in Journalism Award
Navarro, general director and columnist for Zeta news magazine in Mexico, reports on the escalating violence and corruption in the border city of Tijuana. Navarro, 43, has refused to remain silent, despite repeated warnings that she is being targeted by drug cartels.

Parisa Hafezi, Courage in Journalism Award
Hafezi, bureau chief for Reuters in Iran, has been beaten, harassed and detained while covering public opposition to the government. Hafezi, 41, is under constant surveillance. Government officials have raided her home and office and threatened her. 

Chiranuch Premchaiporn, Courage in Journalism Award
Premchaiporn, 43, director and webmaster of Prachatai online newspaper in Thailand,  faces up to 20 years in prison for anti-government comments posted on her website. She has been repeatedly arrested, her offices have been raided and her website has been blocked multiple times by the Thai government.  

Kate Adie, Lifetime Achievement Award
Adie, a veteran broadcast journalist, has been presented with the IWMF’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Adie, a presenter on BBC Radio 4’s “From Our Own Correspondent,” has covered the world for more than 40 years, reporting breaking news from Tiananmen Square and Lockerbie to Sierra Leone and Belgrade. Adie, 65, was the BBC’s first chief news correspondent and has paved the way for future generations of journalists.