The International Women’s Media Foundation today announced Mc Nelly Torres as the recipient of its annual Gwen Ifill Award. Torres, an editor at Center for Public Integrity and board member of the National Association for Hispanic Journalists, is being recognized for her career-long dedication to building diversity, equity and inclusion in the news media.
“Mc Nelly has been a powerful proponent of journalists of color in the newsroom and we’re proud to honor that work with this award,” said Elisa Lees Muñoz, executive director of the IWMF. “She’s not only broken barriers for Latinas in investigative journalism, but she continues to reach back and lift up young journalists as a mentor and leader in her field.”
Now in its sixth year, the IWMF’s Gwen Ifill Award honors a remarkable woman journalist of color whose work embodies Ifill’s legacy of supporting and elevating women of color in news media. Ifill, who passed away in November 2016, was a friend of the IWMF and trailblazer in the news media industry.
“Seeing Gwen on television at the news desk meant something for a lot of people, myself included,” Torres said. “It meant si se puede – yes we can. It’s such an honor to receive this award in her name and be recognized for the work I love doing.”
Torres leads a team of Public Integrity reporters investigating inequality, and for years she has provided training on investigative and data journalism to reporters in the U.S. and Latin America.
Her efforts have helped to steer Public Integrity, one of the country’s oldest nonprofit news organizations, toward becoming one of the few that is majority people of color and that is dedicated to investigative reporting about inequality in the U.S.
Among her work as an editor at Public Integrity, Torres helped lead two major nationwide investigations last year. The Cheated at Work series was a partnership with Univision and The Associated Press, detailing the systemic problem of wage theft in the U.S. Postal Service but also in industries that rely heavily on immigrants’ work; and “Criminalizing Kids,” a data-driven investigation that showed how police presence in schools disproportionately harms Black, Latino, Indigenous students as well as students with disabilities.
She spent more than a decade producing award-winning investigative journalism for numerous newspapers and media outlets including NBC6 Miami, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the San Antonio Express-News and others. She is a co-founder of the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting and was the first Latina elected to the board of directors of the Investigative Reporters and Editors and the Florida Society of News Editors.
“I want to give to the next generation what I did not have. I believe in paying it forward,” Torres continued. “I’m a loud voice for reporters of color in investigative journalism; I feel it’s my responsibility to be an advocate and call out injustice when I see it. Success in this industry is not an easy road, but it’s possible with the support of mentorship and a community. ”
Torres will be recognized during the IWMF’s Courage in Journalism Awards ceremony, held virtually on November 9 at 5:30 PM ET in partnership with Washington Post Live. Learn more about the event at courage.iwmf.org.
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About the International Women’s Media Foundation
The IWMF is the only global organization built to serve the holistic needs of women and nonbinary journalists. We are an ambitious, bold and inclusive organization that supports journalists where they are with awards, reporting opportunities, fellowships, grants, safety training and emergency aid. As one of the largest supporters of women-produced journalism, our transformative work strengthens equal opportunity and press freedom worldwide. Follow the IWMF on Twitter at @IWMF, on Facebook at @IWMFPage, and Instagram on @TheIWMF.
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