Hafezi is the first Iranian bureau chief working for foreign media in Tehran and the only non-westerner, female Reuters bureau chief in the Middle East. She continues to be instrumental in covering all matters in Iran, despite the profound occupational hazards that have threatened her life and the lives of her family members.
Imagine living in county where the regime or presiding government dictates what you see and hear, and any form of dissent leads to ‘terminal retribution.’ Now, imagine having to work within these difficult restrictions to try to give an unbiased report of the events that are unfolding within that country. This describes the life and work circumstances faced by Parisa Hafezi, Reuters’ Tehran Bureau Chief in Tehran.
Without people like Parisa Hafezi, we, as Iranian-Americans, would be lost in a sea of rumors and false information. Having the difficult job of representing a western news outlet in Iran, Ms. Hafezi is truly an unprecedented figure. She is the first Iranian bureau chief working for foreign media in Tehran and the only non-westerner, female Reuters bureau chief in the Middle East. She continues to be instrumental in covering all matters in Iran, despite the profound occupational hazards that have threatened her life and the lives of her family members.
For her coverage of the opposition movement against the Iranian regime, Ms. Hafezi has been beaten, harassed and detained; tools of a regime dedicated to thwart democratic dissonance. The work of Ms. Hafezi is paramount, as it sheds light on a widely suppressed cry for liberty and freedom in Iran to the rest of the world. For her work, she is constantly under surveillance and government officials have raided her home and office. Despite the risk, Ms. Hafezi displays unbound courage and journalistic integrity as she continues to serve humanity with her honest, unabridged work.
The International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) has recognized Ms. Hafezi’s diligence and high moral character by awarding her with the 2011 Courage in Journalism Award; an award won by the likes of Christiane Amanpour and Claudia Duque. “We are proud to recognize these brave women, who endure the most incredible trials to shed light on the events vital to the nations in which they live,” said IWMF Executive Director Liza Gross.
Ms. Hafezi, along with other well deserving awardees, will be officially honored in Los Angeles and New York in October. The International Women’s Media Foundation is a non-profit organization whose mission is dedicated to strengthening the role of women in the news media worldwide as a means to further freedom of the press by building a network of female journalists, cultivating leaders, pioneering change, and honoring courage.
Honorees, who are rewarded with $5,000 and a crystal statue, are given direct support by the IWMF while they continue to report news in increasingly dangerous conditions. Critical support from the IWMF is funded by sponsorships during events such as the Courage in Journalism ceremony. With event sponsorship ranging from tickets at $750, to table sponsorships starting at $7,500 and above, you can help perpetuate the work of these courageous journalists. These donations allow the continued broadcasting of truth and matters around the world by counter balancing deterrents set by countries bent on silencing their voices.
For more information including how you can participate in the 2011 Courage in Journalism ceremony, please feel free to visit http://www.iwmf.org/