Iona Craig

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Iona Craig
Born 1976 (age 41–42)
Occupation Journalist
Nationality British-Irish
Alma mater City University London
Notable awards Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism, Orwell Prize for Journalism

Iona Craig (born 1976) is an award-winning British-Irish freelance journalist. Since 2010 her reporting has focused on Yemen and the Arabian Peninsula.


Craig was raised in Gloucestershire, United Kingdom, and attended City University in London. Previous to her study and work as a journalist, Craig was a horse trainer and jockey.[1]

As a BBC intern, Craig studied Arabic, and moved to Sana’a, Yemen in 2010 to become the managing editor of the Yemen Times. As the Yemeni revolution began in February 2011 she left the Yemen Times to concentrate on freelance reporting including as Yemen correspondent for The Times of London, for which she was the recipient of the 2014 Martha Gellhorn prize. On 27 February 2013, Craig survived an assassination attempt when the taxi she was travelling in was ambushed and came under fire outside the Ministry of Defense headquarters in Sana'a. The taxi driver also survived. His quick thinking likely saved Craig's life.[2][3]The last accredited Western journalist in the country, she left in 2014. [4][5] Since then she has repeatedly returned to the country to report on the Yemen civil war, human rights abuses and the country's humanitarian crisis from both sides of the frontlines.[6][7][8][9] In 2017, she reported on the tragically botched Yakla raid.[10][11]

Her work has appeared in The Times, The Sunday Times, The Irish Times, USA Today, Al Jazeera America, Time (magazine), Foreign Policy, Los Angeles Times, GlobalPost, Index on Censorship, The Intercept, and Vice.[4], amongst others.

Craig is also the volunteer spokesperson for the Yemen Data Project[12].

Awards and Accolades[edit]

Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism 2014 - winner. Judges wrote of her work: “Often alone, and risking her life, Iona has for almost four years given voice to the ordinary people of Yemen, especially the families of the victims of America’s ‘war on terror’."[13]

Frontline Club Award 2014 - print winner. Craig won the award for her investigation into a US drone attack that left 12 civilians dead. To write the piece, she courageously travelled undercover to the strike site six days after the bombing of a wedding convoy in remote central Yemen[14].

The Orwell Prize for journalism 2016 - winner[15]

Kurt Schork Memorial Awards 2016 - international journalism winner. Craig was commended for he undercover stories from Yemen.[16]

International Media Awards 2017 - winner. Craig won the Cutting Edge Award for her work on the Yemeni Crisis. The award is given to journalists who have recently risen to prominence due to the outstanding quality of their work, and 2018 George Polk Award


  1. ^ Genaro, Teresa (25 September 2013). "From Racetrack to Reporter: Yemen Freelancer Iona Craig". Forbes. Retrieved 23 October 2015. 
  2. ^ "Irish journalist survived an assassination attempt in old Sanaa". Yemen Press. 28 February 2013. Retrieved 23 July 2017. 
  3. ^ "Motive unclear after Times reporter is shot at in Yemen". Press Gazette. 5 March 2013. Retrieved 23 July 2017. 
  4. ^ a b Craig, Iona. "Tis Herself". Iona Craig. Retrieved 23 October 2015. 
  5. ^ Baron, Adam. "I got kicked out of Yemen like a criminal". Foreign Policy Magazine. Retrieved 23 October 2015. 
  6. ^ Craig, Iona (1 September 2015). "Yemen's Hidden War: How the Saudi-Led Coalition Is Killing Civilians". The Intercept. First Look Media. 
  7. ^ Craig, Iona (16 November 2015). "The Agony of Saada: U.S. and Saudi Bombs Target Yemen's Ancient Heritage". The Intercept. First Look Media. Retrieved 23 July 2017. 
  8. ^ "The Battle for Aden". BBC Radio 4 From Our Own Correspondent. The British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 23 July 2017. 
  9. ^ Snyder, Steven. "A western reporter sneaks into Aden and finds a humanitarian crisis in progress". Public Radio International. Retrieved 23 October 2015. 
  10. ^ Craig, Iona (9 March 2017). "Death in al Ghayil". The Intercept. Retrieved 27 March 2017. 
  11. ^ Warren, James (21 March 2017). "How a freelance journalist told the real story of the U.S. Yemen raid". Poynter. Retrieved 23 July 2017. 
  12. ^ "Yemen Data Project". Yemen Data Project. Retrieved 23 July 2017. 
  13. ^ "Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism". American Media Institute. Retrieved 23 October 2015. 
  14. ^ "Frontline Club Awards 2014". Frontline Club. Retrieved 23 July 2017. 
  15. ^ "Orwell Prize for journalism 2016". Orwell Foundation. Retrieved 23 July 2017. 
  16. ^ "Kurt Schork Memorial Awards 2016". Kurt Schork Memorial Fund. Retrieved 23 July 2017.