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Pulitzer Prize 2020: Three photojournalists from J&K win the prize

Pulitzer Prize 2020: Yasin Dar, Mukhtar Khan, and Channi Anand won the prize for their coverage in the J&K region during government-imposed restrictions.

May 6, 2020 11:24 IST
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Three photojournalists from Jammu & Kashmir have won Pulitzer Prize 2020 in feature photography. Yasin Dar, Mukhtar Khan, and Channi Anand who won the top honours have been working with Associated Press (AP).

The awards were announced virtually on May 5. Their coverage in the J&K region during government-imposed restrictions as a move to end Jammu & Kashmir’s special status was recognized through this prestigious award.

Following the norms of social distancing and worldwide lockdown, the Board administrator of Pulitzer Prize, Dana Canedy announced the winners from her loving room through a live stream on YouTube instead of a ceremony at New York’s Columbia University.

The announcement was also made through the official twitter handle of Pulitzer prize. The tweet mentioned the names of the photojournalists as well as congratulated them on their winning in feature photography.

Pulitzer Prize tweet

Reactions of the awarded photojournalists:

Yasin Dar, Mukhtar Khan, and Channi Anand after winning the prize expressed that it had not been an easy road.

Among the three, Mukhtar Khan and Yasin Dhar are from Kashmir while Channi Anand belongs to the Jammu region.

Defining it as his own story, Yasin Dhar told AP that through images he is not just shooting the story of the people from the region, but it is his own story as well. He further stated to be honoured to find his name in the list of Pulitzer prize winners.

While Channi Anand said he was shocked on winning the prize and could not believe when the winners were announced.

Capturing the region during restrictions:

As per the Associated Press (AP) for which the three awarded photojournalists have been working stated that it was not an easy task for the photographers. The imposed restrictions especially made it difficult for them to get their pictures to publish by their organization.

AP further explained that the three photojournalists had to take extreme measures such as taking cover in strangers’ homes, going around the roadblock, or hiding their camera in vegetable bags.

After capturing various images of the protests, paramilitary action, police, and daily life, they will head to the airport and persuade the travellers to carry the images hidden in memory cards or flash drives and give them at AP’s office in New Delhi.

Rahul Gandhi congratulated the winners:

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi took to his official twitter handle to congratulate the three winners of the Pulitzer Prize and appreciated the power images of life in Jammu & Kashmir captured by the photojournalists.

Rahul Gandhi Tweet

Omar Abdullah congratulated the winners:

Former Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir and the leader of the National Conference, Omar Abdullah also congratulated the winners on their tremendous work. He also defined 2020 to be a difficult year for the journalists in Jammu & Kashmir.

Omar Abdullah Tweet

About Pulitzer Prize:

Pulitzer Prize was established in 1917 and has been awarded for the achievements in magazine, newspaper, online journalism, musical composition, and literature. The award was established by the provisions in the will of Joseph Pulitzer, he made his fortune as a newspaper publisher. The award is administered by Columbia University.

Pulitzer prize is awarded yearly in 21 categories. Each winner receives a cash award and a certificate. A gold medal is awarded to the winner in Public Service Category. 

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