Iranian photographer among winners of Pulitzer Prize


Corruption in the United States, the challenges facing an Egyptian imam in Brooklyn and President’s Bush efforts to extend his presidential power through “signing statements” were among the news stories that were distinguished in the 2007 edition of the Pulitzer Prizes.
Every year, one newspaper is granted the golden medal for public service, while 10 journalists and editors are honored for their exemplary work over the past year. There are also two awards for photographers (feature and breaking news photography) and one for editorial cartooning.

The Wall Street Journal was awarded two prizes, one for public service and one for international reporting. Its story about stock benefits for corporate executives resulted into prosecutions and several executives were fired. “It was like an incredibly well-hidden secret in corporate America,” reckons Mark Maremont, one of the reporters. The newspaper series of articles on the impact of China’s unrestrained economic growth were also granted a prize.

The prize for Editorial Writing went to the New York Daily News. Arthur Browne, Beverly Weintraub and Heidi Evans highlighted how the state completely neglected Ground Zero workers who had developed serious health problems after 9/11. Associated Press photographer Oded Balilty won the Breaking News Photography prize with his image of “a lone Jewish woman defying Israeli security forces as they remove illegal settlers in the West Bank”.

Although the winners are not to be revealed before the official announcement in April and the jurors are bound with a confidentiality agreement, it is common knowledge that the names will leak a few hours after the jurors leave Manhattan’s Columbia University Journalism Building. The situation wasn’t any different this year and eventually only three prizes were kept secret. Most of the winners were already known in March when Editor & Publisher listed 30 finalists. In spite of the fact that the Pulitzer Board laments such practices, the magazine seems to be an essential part of the prizes history: E&P was the first to cover the Pulitzer prizes in 1917 and has been doing so ever since.

This year, the Pulitzer Board will also award Jahangir Razmi, an Iranian photographer who had won the 1980 Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Photography, but had remained anonymous all these years. When his picture of a firing squad in Iran was first published in August of 1979 in an Iranian newspaper, the editor withheld Razmi’s identity because he was concerned for the photographer’s safety. His identity was only recently revealed, with his consent, in a Wall Street Journal article.

The Pulitzer website lists all the winners of the different categories. A time searchbar allows to retrieve prize-winning articles, photos and winners’ biographies from 1995 onwards and to find out who won the prize for reporting since 1917.

K. Nikolopoulou