Women journalists often face unique challenges while doing their jobs. GIJN has gathered resources to help our female colleagues around the world find networks, resources, and tools to handle issues such as online harassment, workplace discrimination, and gender-based violence. This resource will also help reporters to easily locate opportunities and find support designed specifically for women journalists.
We’ve curated a collection of resources. Our topics:
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Professional networks can be great resources for peer support, mentorship, collaboration, and contacts. In the male-dominated industry of investigative journalism, it can be helpful to reach out to other women for understanding and support. That’s why we’ve rounded up a list of regional and global networks specifically for women journalists around the world.
Launched in 2017, the Coalition for Women in Journalism aims to foster “camaraderie between women journalists around the globe,” offering resources, events, advocacy, and mentoring from experienced female journalists. The Coalition has contacts in countries across Latin America and Asia.
The Washington, DC-based International Women’s Media Foundation was founded in 1990 and today provides grants and training, offers several awards, and organizes reporting trips for women journalists from all over the world, with a focus on under-reported stories. The IWMF also has an Emergency Fund and supports safety training — information that can be located in the “Safety” section below.
The International Association of Women in Radio & Television is a global network for women working in broadcast and electronic media, with chapters in Afghanistan, Cameroon, Iraq-Kurdistan, Moldova, Norway, South Africa, Uganda, Cambodia, India, Kenya, Nepal, the Philippines, Tanzania, and the US. The IAWRT supports global projects focused on women and media, organizes conferences, and offers professional skills training opportunities.
Women Photograph is a nonprofit that launched in 2017 with a mission to “shift the makeup of the photojournalism community and ensure that our industry’s chief storytellers are as diverse as the communities they hope to represent.” The network runs a directory of 1,000 independent documentary photographers around the world that identify as female and nonbinary visual journalists, and campaigns for editors to include more photographs taken by women in the photos they publish. You can see the 2020 data they collected on front page bylines here.
Media Moms is a closed Facebook group with over 500 members who are journalist moms, as well as moms working in newsrooms, in journalism education, and on the business side of media. Its mission statement: “We face unique challenges balancing deadlines and life at home. This is a supportive space to share stories, issues, solutions, and virtual hugs.”
Networks in Africa
Launched by Code for Africa, WanaData is a network of female African journalists, data scientists, and techies collaborating to produce data-driven stories. Find stories and conversations on Twitter using #Wanadata. Join the team or pitch a story here. Together with its partners, the network offers a digital journalism training program.
Founded in 2016, the African Women in Media (AWiM) convenes annually, runs an active Facebook group, and has a weekly newsletter focusing on professional development of African women in the industry and representation of gender issues in the media. In 2020, with Fojo Media Institute, they published a study that reveals barriers to entry for women journalists in sub-Saharan Africa. They surveyed 125 women journalists from 17 African countries.
Established in 1983, the Association of Media Women in Kenya is a nonprofit membership organization focused on equality and visibility for women in the industry and in society through the media. AMWIK publishes resources, including the Women Journalist’s Digital Security survey, and offers a scholarship fund.
The Nigeria Association of Women Journalists was established 25 years ago and aims to increase women’s access and leadership in the media. NAWOJ offers advocacy and training to women journalists in Nigeria.
Cameroon Media Women launched as a WhatsApp group and a closed Facebook page in 2018 in response to the #MeToo movement. With the #StopSexualHarassment237 hashtag, referring to Cameroon’s country code, women journalists held a Twitter discussion and shared videos discussing the issues women face in newsrooms.
The Senegal-based Inter-African Network for Women, Media, Gender Equity and Development is a media and communications organization for women founded in 2001 and operating in 22 countries in West and Central Africa. FAMEDEV is dedicated to media, gender equity, and development in Africa. It provides training to female journalists; produces resource kits for advocacy, information and training; and promotes social entrepreneurship.
Networks in Latin America
Launched in 2013, Chicas Poderosas has chapters in 13 countries in Latin America and Spain. It organizes investigative journalism workshops and hackathons; trains women in leadership, digital, and new media skills; and has facilitated mentoring and fellowships.
Launched in 2017, the Coalition for Women in Journalism aims to foster “camaraderie between women journalists around the globe,” offering resources, events, advocacy, and mentoring from experienced female journalists. The Coalition has a chapter in Mexico.
Networks in the Middle East
Established in 1999, the Arab Women Media Center is an Amman-based NGO that focuses on job training, skill development, and media literacy for women and young people. AWMC produces documentary films and resources focused on women and the media, and has an online network to connect women journalists in the region.
Based in the Netherlands, the Syrian Female Journalists Network was founded in 2012 with a mission to amplify the voices of female journalists in Syria and help them get into positions of leadership. SFJN, which has both male and female members, provides training for female journalists inside Syria, as well as in Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan, focusing on gender and feminism. The network shares resources and opportunities with its members.
The Marie Colvin Journalists’ Network is an online community of female journalists whose members receive practical support and mentoring, and who share advice with others. It’s free-of-charge and open to Arabic-speaking female journalists who work in the Arab world.
Networks in North America
Started in 1985, the Journalism & Women Symposium aims to provide a community for women journalists in the US, with an active national listserv, regional chapters, and networking and training events. JAWS focuses on providing “resources, support, training and information about issues that affect women” in the media. JAWS hosts an annual conference and also offers ongoing mentoring.
The Washington, DC-based International Women’s Media Foundation was founded in 1990 and today provides grants, training, and reporting trips to women journalists from all over the world, with a focus on under-reported stories. The IWMF also has an Emergency Fund and supports safety training – information that can be located in the “Safety” section below.
Started in 1909, the US-focused Association for Women in Communications works to elevate the role of women in communications through learning opportunities, a jobs board, and connections across a network of women leaders.
Networks in Asia
The Network of Women in Media, India is an advocacy and networking organization that provides a forum for women journalists in India to “share information and resources, exchange ideas, promote media awareness and ethics, and work for gender equality and justice” within the industry and society. NWMI has 16 chapters across the country.
Working Women Journalists in Nepal is an advocacy organization that lobbies for increased access and equal opportunity for women in the media, and provides trainings, seminars, and workshops.
The NüVoices network supports women working on the subject of China (broadly defined), including journalists. NüVoices has a closed Facebook page, chapters in Greater China, the US, and Europe; and a directory of female experts.
Launched in 2017, the Coalition for Women in Journalism aims to foster “camaraderie between women journalists around the globe,” offering resources, events, advocacy, and mentoring from experienced female journalists. The Coalition has chapters in Afghanistan, Pakistan, China, and India.
Networks in Europe
In the United Kingdom, a group of female journalists created The Second Source in 2017 as an alternative professional network for women, as well as to tackle harassment in the media. The organization aims to promote awareness, inform women of their rights, and create change in the industry. In 2018, The Second Source launched a mentorship program “aimed at women who are starting out as professional journalists, who are considering dropping out of the industry, or who feel like they need more direction.” It’s intended to provide not only career advice but also advice for dealing with work-related challenges.
The London-based Women in Journalism is a professional network of women in the media in the UK. WIJ hosts seminars and panels, conducts research, facilitates networking events, and has a mentoring program for both emerging and established women journalists.
In France, Prenons la une is an association of women journalists advocating for fair representation of women in the media and professional equality in newsrooms. The network meets every few months, and provides support to women facing discrimination and harassment.
In Germany, Journalistinnenbund is a nationwide, cross-generational network of over 400 women working in journalism. The organization, which was founded in 1987, has regional groups around the country and a mentoring program for emerging journalists.
Safety is something all journalists worry about, but women face additional threats with gender-based violence, harassment, discrimination in the newsroom and in the field, and disproportionate online attacks. Below are some resources to improve security for women in the industry.
The International Association of Women in Radio & Television published a Safety Handbook for Women Journalists. This is a 95-page guide aimed at female reporters in conflict zones and includes sections on risk assessment, online harassment, and travel safety.
Physical Safety: Solo Reporting and Physical Safety: Mitigating Sexual Violence are resources created in 2019 by the Committee to Protect Journalists. CPJ conducted a survey on safety issues facing female journalists in the US and Canada, described in this blog post. The new sections are additions to the CPJ Safety Notes collection, which buttresses its Journalist Security Guide.
GIJN has compiled a general resource page of safety guides and organizations that provide aid to journalists in danger. Assistance ranges from medical and legal aid to moving the journalist out of the country where their safety is threatened.
The European Center for Press & Media Freedom has launched an alarm center where female journalists can report attacks via encrypted messaging and seek help. The messages will be opened by female staff at ECPMF and the reports kept confidential.
The International Federation of Journalists is working with the International Labor Organization on a campaign to stop violence against women journalists. Resources include toolkits, publications, and links to relevant policies. The IFJ provides support and resources to directly address problems and to pressure local governments for meaningful change. In November of 2019, IFJ launched guidelines to fight back collectively against online trolling of women journalists.
We now know that self-care can be as important for safety and well-being as security measures. To minimize burnout, mitigate trauma and boost your focus, check out these yoga videos from the IWMF for morning and evening practice, designed specifically for women journalists.
Troll-Busters.com is a global campaign that offers “online pest control for journalists,” focusing on women and specializing in identification, mitigation, and reporting of online threats and harassment. They also have resources and training specific to women journalists.
PEN America recently released an Online Harassment Field Manual with practical tools and tactics to defend against online hate and harassment. PEN describes the manual as “a one-stop shop of advice, guidance, and resources on cyber-stalking, doxing, hateful speech, and other forms of digital harassment.” In addition to universal advice on “what to do,” the resource includes information on relevant US state laws.
The Byte Back campaign was launched in 2016 by the International Federation of Journalists and partner organizations in the Asia Pacific region to stop cyber-bullying and online harassment of women journalists. The campaign provides resources, tactics, and support to combat online harassment and trolling.
Access Now’s Digital Security Helpline works with individuals and organizations around the world, free of charge. They can help improve digital security practices and provide rapid-response emergency assistance within two hours in English, Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Russian, the Austronesian language Tagalog, Arabic, and Italian.
A DIY Guide to Feminist Cybersecurity covers tools for blocking online tracking, circumvention and anonymity tools, defending against malware, strong authentication practices, privacy on social media, as well as device and communication encryption (Spanish version).
Speak Up & Stay Safe (r): A Guide to Protecting Yourself From Online Harassment, by Feminist Frequency, describes tactics for combating doxxing, privacy on social media and gaming platforms, compartmentalization practices, strengthening authentication security, personal website security, physical mail privacy, and related advice.
Alerta Machitroll is a Colombia-based Spanish-language campaign launched by Fundación Karisma in 2015 to combat violence against women in the digital environment. The group provides an Alert Generator and self-help strategies to fight online harassment with humor.
The Crash Override Network‘s resource center lists tools, guides, and services useful in instances of online abuse, including doxing and non-consensual intimate images, and protection for personal data, passwords, and devices.
Online SOS is a nonprofit organization that focuses on US journalists dealing with any type of online harassment, and provides free support regarding law enforcement, legal remedies, employment-related options, case management, escalation to platforms, expert referral, and crisis coaching.
Take Back the Tech is a global collaborative campaign aimed at taking control of technology to end violence against women. They provide assistance to victims of technology-related harassment, digital safety toolkits for devices, and resources for rights, self-care, and survivor strategies. They also support and help launch local campaigns.
The Worst (& Safest) Countries for Solo Female Travel in 2019 is a study of 50 countries by travel journalists Asher Fergusson and Lyric Benson. Plus 42 tips on how women can stay safe while traveling alone.
A 200-page resource guide “Safety of Female Journalists Online” has been developed by the office of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media (RFoM).
Resources on Discrimination and Harassment
Discrimination and harassment in the workplace are common problems plaguing many industries, including journalism. According to a recent report by the Council on Foreign Relations, 18 countries still require women to have their husband’s permission to work, 59 provide no legal protections against sexual harassment in the workplace, and 104 restrict the kinds of jobs women can hold. Pay discrimination is global. Below are some resources currently available to help address gender discrimination and sexual harassment in the workplace.
Women in News has developed a toolkit for employers and employees to deal with (and prevent) sexual harassment in their media organizations. The toolkit includes a practical guide, awareness posters, sample policies, surveys, and communication templates. WIN also has various resources to help managers create better working environments for women. The organization works in sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. Their podcast, The Backstory, explores issues of women leadership in newsrooms.
UNESCO and the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) together published a survey on online violence against women journalists. The survey, “the most comprehensive and geographically diverse survey ever undertaken on the theme of online violence,” received responses from 714 women journalists across 113 countries.
The International Federation of Journalists is working with the International Labor Organization on a campaign to stop violence against women journalists. Resources include toolkits, publications, and links to relevant policies, including on the gender pay gap. The IFJ provides support and resources to directly address problems — including harassment — and to pressure local governments for meaningful change.
In the US, the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund connects women who experience sexual harassment and retaliation in the workplace with attorneys and media specialists.
Washington-based Press Forward has a step-by-step guide for female journalists being sexually harassed in the workplace, plus other relevant resources. These are designed with US laws and policies in mind, but can be helpful elsewhere.
In France, Prenons la une is an association of women journalists advocating for fair representation of women in the media and professional equality in newsrooms. The network provides support to women facing discrimination and harassment.
The Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalism (Abraji) conducted research into challenges faced by women in the industry. Based on the findings, Mulheres No Jornalismo Brasileiro lists recommendations for Brazil’s media outlets to address gender-based harassment, discrimination, and violence. In 2018, 50 Brazilian female journalists also released a video manifesto against sexual harassment and discrimination using the hashtag #DeixaElaTrabalhar on Facebook and Twitter. The hashtag phrase translates to “Let Her Work.”
Cameroon Media Women launched as a WhatsApp group and a closed Facebook page in 2018 in response to the #MeToo movement. With the #StopSexualHarassment237 hashtag, referring to Cameroon’s country code, women journalists held a Twitter discussion and shared videos discussing the issues facing women in the newsrooms.
The #MeToo movement has made a mark in Asia. At a GIJN panel at Uncovering Asia 2018, women journalists shared stories and tips on investigating and covering sexual harassment and assault in China and Japan. Also, here’s a series on investigative journalists’ role in covering the #MeToo movement in China from GIJN’s Hong Kong bureau.
Women journalists in Japan are fighting sexual harassment with the #WithYou movement and recently formed the Women in Media Network Japan. The group also published a dossier of anonymous stories about sexual harassment experiences by women journalists in Japan.
The Second Source in the UK was set up to tackle harassment in the media. The organization aims to promote awareness, inform women of their rights, and create change in the industry.
A recent study by Women in News, “ Glass Ceilings: Women in South African Media Houses” identifies common issues of sexism in media organizations, and provides recommendations to address them.
Digital Women Leaders offers women journalists free one-on-one coaching for 30 minutes, including on issues such as workplace discrimination, harassment, and the pay gap.
The Totem Project, in partnership with the International Women Media Foundation (IWMF), has created several online courses on harassment in different languages.
Mentors come with experience and knowledge that can help you with a wide range of issues, including moving forward with your project, negotiating a fair salary, or navigating an unhealthy work environment or a difficult relationship with a colleague. It can take time to find the right match, but a number of resources are available specifically for women journalists.
Digital Women Leaders offers women journalists free one-on-one coaching for 30 minutes. While most of the coaches listed work in US media, there are a few based around the world. Still, some issues — like workplace discrimination and the pay gap — are universal.
In the UK, The Second Source has launched a mentorship scheme “aimed at women who are starting out as professional journalists, who are considering dropping out of the industry or who feel like they need more direction.” It’s intended to provide not only career advice, but also advice for dealing with work-related challenges.
The US-based Journalism & Women Symposium has a year-round mentoring program for members. Mentees are paired with mentors based on needs and location and establish their own schedule and mode of communication. The program provides support on topics including career coaching, resume writing, job interviews, management and leadership, writing coaching, asking for a raise, and more.
Chicas Poderosas has chapters in 13 countries and organizes investigative journalism workshops and hackathons; trains women in leadership, digital, and new media skills; and facilitates mentoring and fellowships.
The London-based Women in Journalism is a professional network of women in the media in the UK. WIJ has a mentoring program for emerging journalists as well as established journalists who want to reach more senior positions.
Women in News provides facilitated group mentoring and coaching for women journalists in sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia.
The US-based Latinas in Journalism Mentorship Program is for Latina women and non-binary Latinx journalists working in news and seeking mentorship from fellow Latinas in the industry.
Grants and Fellowships
Below is a list of grants and scholarships designed specifically for individuals identifying as women and/or for stories about women.
For a general list of grant and fellowships available to both men and women, visit the GIJN resource page.
The International Women’s Media Foundation has a number of grants for women journalists around the world, with varying deadlines throughout the year. These include Women’s Health Reporting on reproductive health, rights and justice in the Americas, in partnership with the Women’s Equality Center; Reporting Grants for Women’s Stories for gender-sensitive coverage of under-reported topics, in partnership with The Secular Society; and the Kim Wall Memorial Fund for reporting on subcultures, in partnership with the Wall family. The IWMF also runs the Howard G. Buffett Fund for Women Journalists, which supports projects including educational opportunities, investigative reporting, and media development initiatives.
The Jamal Khashoggi Award for Courageous Journalism is a new set of grants sponsored by the Inti Raymi Fund, a family foundation based in Austin, Texas. Grants of up to $5,000 are available to cover reporting expenses for investigative projects by journalists and writers under 35 years old on topics related to human rights violations, women’s rights, human and sex trafficking, corruption and abuse of power, and climate change.
The Kenya Media Program provides grants to Kenyan journalists for investigative and public interest stories on politics, service delivery, constitutional implementation, impunity, accountability, and elections.
WanaData is a network of female African journalists, data scientists, and techies collaborating to produce data-driven stories. The network and its partners recently offered a digital journalism training program for Ugandan women journalists.
Headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria, the Wole Soyinka Center for Investigative Journalism hosts the Female Journalists Leadership Fellowship with support from Free Press Unlimited. The program is aimed at empowering Nigerian female journalists with at least three years of experience through skill-building, support, and tools to take leadership positions at their publications and to mobilize a network of female journalists.
The US-based Online News Association hosts the Women’s Leadership Accelerator, a year-long program that “supercharges the leadership and management skills of women who are pushing digital innovation.” A cohort of English-speaking participants, with varying backgrounds and expertise, is selected annually from newsrooms around the globe. The Accelerator’s week-long intensive training is hosted in the US. ONA also makes some training materials available online to the public.
The Poynter Leadership Academy for Women in Media is a program designed for women who directly manage people and are within their first one-to-five years of formal leadership experience. You can also subscribe to The Cohort, Poynter’s newsletter for “women kicking ass in digital media and journalism.”
Women in News annually selects 50 women from sub-Saharan Africa and 30 women from the Middle East and North Africa, who are mid-to-senior-level editors or senior journalists, to further their newsroom management, leadership, and editorial skills. The program offers online leadership and media management training, one-on-one coaching support, peer mentoring, and national and regional networking.
Chicas Poderosas has chapters in 13 countries in Latin America and Spain, and has facilitated fellowships in US newsrooms. The organization’s New Ventures Lab also provides guidance and funding for women-led independent media ventures.
Foreign Policy Interrupted offers a fellowship program to women in the foreign policy arena. The program focuses on building media and branding skills through an online educational module and editorial connections. The program is open to women globally.
The Doria Feminist Fund (MENA region) gives grants to both new and established feminist groups in the MENA region to continue and establish their work.
Awards for Women
Awards can be a great way to get recognized and have your work spotlighted. For a general directory of global and regional awards open to international entries, check out GIJN’s resource page for dozens of opportunities. Below are awards available only to women, or individuals identifying as women.
The International Women’s Media Foundation sponsors the Courage in Journalism Awards, which honor female journalists who face danger to uncover the truth and raise the bar for reporting under threat or duress. The prizes are open to women journalists worldwide and they consider nominations.
The IWMF’s Lifetime Achievement Award honors trailblazing women leaders who have demonstrated extraordinary strength and a commitment to press freedom and to advancing women’s voices around the world. These candidates can also be retired journalists.
The Women in News Editorial Leadership Award is awarded to one woman editor in sub-Saharan Africa and one woman editor in the Middle East and North Africa. The award recognizes women who have made an exemplary contribution to their newsrooms and, under their leadership, the contribution of their media to society.
The International Association of Women in Radio & Television is a global network for women working in broadcast and electronic media, with chapters in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America. The IAWRT Documentary Awards give out a $1,000 prize every two years in three different categories, including Social Impact, Innovation, and Emerging Talent. Entry is open to women producers, directors, and journalists working with radio, television, and digital media anywhere in the world.
The annual Caroline Jones Women in Media Young Journalists Award recognizes young women working across rural and regional Australia. Winners are awarded a personal learning fund, mentoring, and travel to receive an intensive experience of journalism, politics, and government in Canberra.
Finding Female Experts
The BBC 50:50 Project begun in 2018 involves record-keeping to show the proportion of women appearing in BBC radio, TV, and online content. The Global Media Monitoring Project is the largest and longest longitudinal study on the gender in the world’s media.
GIJN has compiled a resource guide for services with functioning, reliable databases used by journalists searching for experts. Here are a few other places where you can look for female sources:
The Request a Woman Scientist platform sponsored by 500 Women Scientists helps journalists connect with an extensive multidisciplinary network of vetted women in science for subject matter expertise, project collaboration, conferences, and panels.
SheSource, from the Women’s Media Center, is a database of over 1,100 female vetted experts are diverse topics around the world, searchable by name, keyword, and area of expertise. Source bios and photos are provided, and experts can be contacted through a form on the website.
Women Plus is a list of more than 750 self-nominated “tech experts” arranged by categories.
The Women’s Room is a global database of female experts designed for use by accredited journalists. You can search by specialization, keyword, and geographic region. There’s also a discussion forum for chats on relevant topics.
Foreign Policy Interrupted, which was launched to highlight and amplify women’s voices in foreign policy, has a list of female foreign policy experts around the globe and sorted by area of interest currently in the news. FPI also provides tools and training for women experts.
Quote This Woman+ is a South African nonprofit organization with a database of more than 200 women experts, on topics from agriculture to xenophobia. The group also will help find a specific expert for you if you provide enough lead time. The organization lobbies to close the gender source gap, monitors the balance of men and women experts on trending stories, and provides media training to women experts. Sign up to the newsletter to get expert lists sent to you related to news trends.
Voces expertas is an online directory (in Spanish) of women experts in Latin America for journalists to consult.
This open directory lists 257 women experts on Japan and Korea and another lists 495 female experts on Hong Kong, Macau, mainland China, and Taiwan.
Women Make the News – Thailand is a database of Thai women experts, designed for journalists. You can search by sector, expertise, theme, location, and by keywords.
The Brookings Institution, a Washington, DC-based policy think tank, has compiled the Women + Sourcelist of over 600 US-based experts on technology policy who identify as women and underrepresented genders. The resource allows journalists to search a pool of experts by background or specialty.
Women for Media is a database of over 200 top female experts and leaders in Australia, searchable by name or keyword.
ExpertWomen is a database of women experts in Canada, searchable by keyword and with a contact button for efficient connection.
Spotlight on Women in Investigative Journalism
At the 11th Global Investigative Journalism Conference in Hamburg (#GIJC19), ten female investigative journalists shared their personal experiences, illuminating the state of journalism and the range of issues women face. You can see a video of the discussion here:
Top female muckrakers shared eight tips for success in a traditionally male-dominated field at GIJN’s 10th Global Investigative Journalism Conference.
In India, female journalists launched a rural, women-focused newspaper that is now a national phenomenon.
In Mexico, women are at the forefront of investigative journalism, including Pulitzer Prize winners and Harvard Nieman Fellows honorees.
In Brazil, female journalists launched the project #OneByOne to tell the stories of murdered women in Pernambuco, a state in the northeast of the country.
In the US, women are leading the golden era of investigative journalism — a discussion from the 2018 #WomenWhoDare conversation series.
Authored by two US professors, a book called “Data Feminism“ looks at how feminist thinking “can be applied to the field of data science and communication.” The manuscript, which is currently open to peer review and comments, has many examples of data journalism and uses data “to challenge structural inequalities and power imbalances of various kinds.”
Here is a video of a panel on “Why we need feminist investigative journalism,” moderated by editors from 50.50, openDemocracy’s independent media covering gender, sexuality, and social justice worldwide. 50.50 recently launched an investigative project called Tracking the Backlash, which digs into networks of conservative and fundamentalist groups pushing back against sexual and reproductive rights.
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