Slain Photojournalist Danish Siddiqui, 3 Other Indians Awarded
Pulitzer Prize for the year 2022 in the fields of journalism, books, drama, and accompaniment was finally announced. News agency Reuters’ late photojournalist Danish Siddiqui has been given this award posthumously. Taking to Twitter, the Pulitzer Prizes team congratulated the Siddiqui’s friends and family, the three other photographers and Reuters, an international news agency. Their work, which was moved from the breaking photography category by the judges, “balanced intimacy and devastation, while offering viewers a heightened sense of place,” the Pulitzer Prize committee wrote.
Siddiqui, who also won the Pulitzer Prize in 2018 for Feature Photography for documenting the Rohingya Refugee Crisis, was killed last year while covering the war between Afghan troops and the Taliban in Kandahar city. His work on capturing images of funeral pyres of Covid-19 victims at mass cremation sites in Delhi last year had garnered widespread applause. Apart from this, he had extensively covered conflicts around the world. Journalists from Ukraine were recognised with a 2022 Pulitzer Prize special citation, while jurors of journalism's top honours also recognized coverage of the January 6th attacks on the Capitol, the withdrawal from Afghanistan and the Surfside condominium collapse in Florida. Apart from them, the Washington Post and The New York Times won the prize for Public Service Journalism and International Reporting, respectively.
Arguably the most coveted award for journalists from across the world, the Pulitzer is announced by America’s Columbia University and bestowed on the recommendation of the Pulitzer Prize Board. Born to a wealthy family of Magyar-Jewish origin in Mako, Hungary, in 1847, Joseph Pulitzer had a stint in the military before he built a reputation of being a “tireless journalist”. The awards were instituted according to Pulitzer’s will, framed in 1904, where he made a provision for the establishment of the Pulitzer Prizes as an incentive to excellence. Pulitzer specified solely four awards in journalism, four in letters and drama, one for education, and five travelling scholarships. In his will, Pulitzer bestowed an endowment on Columbia of $2,000,000 for the establishment of a School of Journalism, one-fourth of which was to be “applied to prizes or scholarships for the encouragement of public service, public morals, American literature, and the advancement of education.” After his death in 1911, the first Pulitzer Prizes were awarded in June, 1917.
A forward-looking entrepreneur, who knew that alterations might be necessary with the changing times, Pulitzer established an overseer advisory board and willed it “power in its discretion to suspend or to change any subject or subjects, substituting, however, others in their places, if in the judgment of the board such suspension, changes, or substitutions shall be conducive to the public good or rendered advisable by public necessities, or by reason of change of time.” In keeping with the provision, several changes have been made, including the addition of new categories and inclusion of recognition of online content. In 2008, it was announced that content published in online-only news sources would also be considered, and, since 2016, print and online magazines, too, have been eligible to apply in all journalism categories.
Stories sometimes right injustice, sometimes they illuminate a deeper context of the local communities in which we live. Sometimes they surprise and entertain, but what the journalism has in "in common is that it was done ethically and seriously, and in its enterprise has paid a part in keeping our democracies vibrant." Pulitzer Prize is an attempt to honour unmatched contribution in the aforesaid field.