They put their lives in danger every day by spotlighting the issues and reporting the facts. The spotlight turned to them as they gathered in Beverly Hills for the International Women's Media Foundation's Courage in Journalism Awards.
The BBC'S war correspondent Kate Adie received the Lifetime Achievement Award from actor Aaron Eckhart. One of the most significant stories of her career was the Tiananmen Square massacre.
"I realized my job was to be a witness, to do something which would stand on the record," Adie said.
Adela Navarro Bello has had her life threatened by the Mexican drug cartels she reports on, but she said it's her commitment to the Mexican people that allows her to persevere.
"You have to speak and you have to write and you have to tell the people what is really going between the government and the criminals," she said.
Chiranuch Premchaiporn reports for Thailand's online newspaper. She's facing a 20-year prison sentence for failing to delete critical remarks about the Thai monarchy on her website.
"I'm excited to get this award," she said. "I think it means so much for Internet freedom in Thailand."
Parisa Hafezi of Reuters in Iran has been abducted, assaulted and interrogated in her country, but she continues to fight against Iran's efforts to censor reporting.
"I want to be impartial and that's what I have to be there to report correctly," she said.
ABC's "Nightline" anchor Cynthia McFadden was emcee. Actress Robin Givens, ABC News senior foreign affairs correspondent Martha Raddatz and Omnilife-Chivas Angelica Fuentes Tellez presented awards.