Using news 'media for good' to inform the world

Woman journalist Dilek Mermer with Rohingya women & children
As a news media team entered the Arakan region in Burma/Myanmar region to document the difficult lives of the Rohingya Muslims, the first woman war journalist Dilek Mermer covers the story with her camera. Image: Aaba Doluajansi


Starting from a writing assignment to cover global women’s news for the UN Commission on the Status of Women in 2006, WNN – Women News Network founder Lys Anzia saw the vital need to report the many times hard and suffering stories of women. WNN featured news stories will soon be available in ebook form. Our outstanding content has been recognized by international partners including WUNRN – Women’s UN Report Network, the United Nations Institute of Training and Research for the Advancement of Women, UN Women, and many more.

Receiving recognition by UNESCO in 2009, WNN – Women News Network has dedicated itself to bringing global attention to conditions on the ground for global women through online news journalism. Using “Professional Standards and Code of Ethics” (UNESCO quote), our approach to journalism has been included in the UNESCO program launch to help train East European news media the importance of greater transparency and quality in reporting.

Chosen as a content partner with The Guardian News Development Network and Thomson Reuters Foundation TrustLaw for highest standards, WNN has a history of reporting original news that will endure and educate the world.

“We believe the power of ‘Media for Good’ creates a powerful voice for global women and human rights worldwide,” says WNN Founder Lys Anzia.

On December 16, 2008, WNN was honored with an Every Human Has Rights (EHHR) Media Award. For the award, WNN Zambia staff journalist, Sally Chiwama, was flown to Paris for a week-long Every Human Has Rights conference on humanitarian journalism. Her article for WNN, “When a Girl Student Stands Up and Wins” was chosen as one of 30 outstanding entries out of 463 articles submitted.

Photojournalist, Homai Vyarawalla
Homai Vyarawalla was the first woman press photographer who opened international photojournalism to women from India.

The international jury included a star cast of members for EHHR which included that year: Bonnie Abaunza of Participant Media; award-winning journalist – Jimmy Briggs – who has reported for Amnesty International, WITNESS and the International Rescue Committee; the 2007 winner of the Amnesty International Ginetta Sagan Award for Women and Children’s Rights – Lydia Cacho; the 2005 Crisis Action Policy Officer and Campaigner and Communications Director for The Elders – Katy Cronin; French freelance journalist and widow of Daniel Pearl – Mariane Pearl, Amnesty International Secretariat – Marcia Poole; General Secretary of the International Federation of Journalists – Aidan White; and Executive Director for Internews Europe – Manana Aslamazyan. (Ongoing sponsors for the EHHR Media Awards include The Elders, The Global Forum for Media Development, Amnesty International and Internews).

In 2011 WNN correspondent for Central India, Shuriah Niazi, received a UNFPA Ladlii Media Awards for Best web writing for a WNN story on dalit women (also known as India’s ‘untouchables) who have suffered severely under accusations of witchcraft in Chhattisgarh, rural India.

Another WNN article (via Niazi) has also received an international thumbs up through an additional 2011 award – The ELi Lilly / REACH MDR-TB Award for TB writing. This WNN story on TB miner widows that was also featured with our media partner at The Guardian Global Development Network.

WNN – Women News Network is continuing to expand today as we re-focus our platform to include in-depth interviews. The focus is on quality in-depth feature writing.

This is where original WNN interviews, giving voice to global conditions on-the-ground, cover many of today’s most pressing stories.

“The outreach is global. The hope is to end suffering and to tell these vital stories in efforts to create a better world for all of us,” adds Anzia.

WNN – Women News Network is a not-for-profit news network bringing in-depth interviews to over 600 UN agencies and NGO affiliates, international offices of legislation, worldwide universities and Schools of Law, as well an engaged human rights and humanitarian focused public-at-large.