Late Danish Siddiqui awarded 2nd Pulitzer for photographing COVID-19 deaths
Late Indian Reuters photojournalist Danish Siddiqui has been posthumously awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of India's COVID-19 deaths along with his colleagues Adnan Abidi, Sanna Irshad Mattoo, and Amit Dave. To recall, he died last year in Afghanistan while covering clashes between the troops and the Taliban. The 2022 Pulitzer Prize winners for journalism, books, drama, and music were announced on Monday.
- The Pulitzer Prizes are awarded for recognizing significant contributions to American journalism, including newspapers, magazines, online journalism, literature, and musical composition.
- Administered by the prestigious Columbia University, it was created in 1917 by provisions in the will of Joseph Pulitzer who was a politician and newspaper publisher.
- Notably, Siddiqui won his first Pulitzer Prize in 2018 for his coverage of the Rohingya refugee crisis.
As a photojournalist, Siddiqui covered several major issues across the globe. Some of his major works include the coverage of wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Rohingya refugee crisis, Hong Kong protests, and the Nepal earthquakes. He had also covered the North-East Delhi riots of February 2020, the migrant crisis of India in 2020, and the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in India.
Commenting on Siddiqui and his colleagues' work, the Pulitzer Prize committee stated that their "images of COVID-19's toll in India" not only "balanced intimacy and devastation" but had also offered the "viewers a heightened sense of place."
Siddiqui had started his career as a television news correspondent and later switched to photojournalism and joined the Reuters news agency as an intern in 2010. He had graduated and post-graduated with a degree in Economics and Mass Communication, respectively, from Delhi's Jamia Millia Islamia University. Notably, his body is now reportedly buried at Jamia's graveyard.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian journalists have been awarded a special citation for the Pulitzer Prize in Journalism in 2022. As per the Committee to Protect Journalists, seven journalists were killed since Russia's invasion of Ukraine, including three Ukrainians. The Prize committee also recognized The Washington Post for its coverage of the January 2021 Capitol riots, when ex-US President Donald Trump's supporters attacked Washington's Capitol Building.
"The Pulitzer Prize board is pleased to award a special citation to the journalists of Ukraine for their courage, endurance, and commitment to truthful reporting during Vladimir Putin's ruthless invasion of their country and his propaganda," said Pulitzer Prize administrator, Marjorie Miller. "Despite bombardment, abductions, occupation, and even deaths...they have persisted in their effort...doing honor to Ukraine and to journalists around the world."
The Washington Post was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service Journalism for extensive reporting, revealing numerous flaws and failures in the US political system and security. Meanwhile, The New York Times received the most number of awards—three. NYT was recognized for international and national reporting, uncovering massive civilian deaths in the US-led airstrikes in the Middle East and America's fatal police traffic stops.