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Dhaka Tribune

Pulitzer Prizes honour Gaza war coverage

  • Award given out at Columbia University
  • Other awards honoured US journalists
Update : 07 May 2024, 11:54 AM

The war in Gaza featured prominently in Monday's Pulitzer Prizes, which included a special citation for journalists covering the Israel-Hamas conflict.

The New York Times won a Pulitzer in international reporting for its "wide-ranging and revelatory coverage of Hamas's lethal attack in southern Israel on October 7," as well as reporting on "the Israeli military's sweeping, deadly response."

Reuters meanwhile won the award for breaking news photography for its "raw and urgent" coverage of the October 7 attack and Israeli response, while a special citation recognized "journalists and media workers covering the war in Gaza."

"This war has also claimed the lives of poets and writers," the committee said. "As the Pulitzer Prizes honour categories of journalism, arts and letters, we mark the loss of invaluable records of the human experience."

The prize also recognized jailed Russian opposition politician and Washington Post contributor Vladimir Kara-Murza "for passionate columns written at great person risk from his prison cell warning of the consequences of dissent in Vladimir Putin's Russia and insisting for a democratic future for his country."

Kara-Murza is serving a 25-year jail sentence in Russia, the longest known sentence of all of Putin's jailed critics, on charges of "treason" after using a speech in the United States to say Russia had committed "war crimes" against Ukraine.

The awards, given out at Columbia University, come as the New York college has faced backlash for calling in police to clear out pro-Palestinian protesters. The police largely blocked media from the scene and threatened student journalists covering the events with arrest.

Two of Columbia's student newspaper editors outlined in an article over the weekend the university's "suppression" of reporting, including arrest threats from police and demands from the university to hand over videos and photos.

Other awards honoured US journalists' reporting on migrant child labour, racial disparities in the legal system and gun violence.

AFP's Adem Altan was a finalist for the breaking news photography award, for his work in the aftermath of the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Turkey in February 2023.

In Altan's nominated photo, a father is seen clutching the hand of his deceased daughter, her arm barely protruding from the rubble.

Author Jayne Anne Phillips won the fiction prize for her novel "Night Watch," about a mother and daughter during and after the US Civil War, while the nonfiction prize went to Nathan Thrall's "A Day in the Life of Abed Salama: Anatomy of a Jerusalem Tragedy."

The committee praised the "finely reported and intimate account of life under Israeli occupation of the West Bank, told through the portrait of a Palestinian father whose five-year-old son dies in a fiery school bus crash when Israeli and Palestinian rescue teams are delayed by security regulations."

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