Touted as the first initiative of its kind, the Howard G. Buffett Fund for Women Journalists will support educational opportunities for women reporters, investigative reporting projects, and media development initiatives. While any woman journalist is eligible to apply for a grant, IWMF will give priority to freelancers who operate without financial support from established media outlets. The organization will begin considering applications in February 2015.
"Through annual grants, we are excited by this unprecedented chance to provide significant support to hundreds of deserving women reporters over the next decade," said IWMF executive director Elisa Lees Muñoz. "The fund allows us to amplify their voices in the field and to pursue opportunities that will set them up for success and leadership roles in their newsrooms."
The fund's creation was inspired by Buffett's admiration for the late Anja Niedringhaus, a 2005 IWMF Courage in Journalism Award winner. "I was greatly saddened when Anja was killed this year in Afghanistan," said Buffett. "I had the pleasure of meeting Anja when I was able to support her Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University. In that spirit, this fund will give outstanding women journalists the ability to turn their reporting ambitions into reality."