Saturday, April 2, 2022

Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Photography 1994


The Pulitzer and World Press Photos of the Year, continued:


Pulitzer Prizes for Photography:

Between 1942 and 1967 a Pulitzer Prize for Photography was awarded for photojournalism, that is, for photographs telling a news story. In 1968 that award was replaced by awards in two new categories:
  • the Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Photography (photography in the nature of breaking news, as it has been called since 2000); and
  • the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography (human interest and matters associated with new items).

World Press Photo of the Year:

From 1955 World Press Photo has awarded prizes for the best photographs in 10 categories, with an overall award for the image that "... is not only the photojournalistic encapsulation of the year, but represents an issue, situation or event of great journalistic importance, and does so in a way that demonstrates an outstanding level of visual perception and creativity".

The photographs are interesting not only in their own right but for being windows on history.

This continuing series looks at the chronological history of the Pulitzer and World Press photographs awards.

In some cases I not shown images I consider confronting. 

Today's photographs are part of that self censoring.

Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Photography


Paul Watson, Toronto Star

Paul Watson

Photographs, published around the world, of a U.S. soldier's body being dragged by Somalis through the streets of Mogadishu.

See the photographs at:


Paul Watson (1959) is a Canadian photojournalist, Pulitzer Prize-winner and author of three books:
Where War Lives,
Magnum Revolution: 65 Years of Fighting for Freedom, and
Ice Ghosts: The Epic Hunt for the Lost Franklin Expedition (2017).

His reporting and photography spans almost three decades and includes conflicts in more than a dozen countries on several continents. Among those are: Eritrea, Somalia, southern Sudan, Angola, Mozambique, South Africa, Romania, Serbia and Kosovo, as well as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kashmir, Iraq and Syria.

While at the Toronto Star, Watson earned four Canadian National Newspaper Awards for photography and stories on the child sex trade in Asia, anarchy in Somalia following the 1991 overthrow dictator Mohammed Siad Barre, and the torture and murder of a Somali teen by Canadian soldiers after a U.S.-led force intervened to end a famine in 1992.

The award:

During the Battle of Mogadishu, Paul Watson snapped a photo that would win him the Pulitzer Prize and inadvertently change American foreign policy.

As a correspondent for the Toronto Star, Watson was on the ground in Somalia in October 1993 when an RPG downed a U.S. Black Hawk helicopter. As one of only a few journalists in the city, Watson ventured toward the crash site where a mob had begun to prod and drag the desecrated corpse of a downed American soldier through the streets. He fixed his lens on the body, released the shutter and captured an image that made the front page of newspapers around the world.

The public outrage sparked by that photo led president Bill Clinton to pull the American military back from the Somali mission and haunted his administration during the Rwanda Genocide and other subsequent humanitarian crises.

Watson too has lived with the ghost of that photo, along with the accumulated trauma of more than three decades worth of reporting on multiple wars and incidents of mass atrocity.

As a young reporter, he spent the final years of the Cold War following guerilla fighters in Angola, Eritrea, Sudan and Somalia. From there he moved onto Rwanda where he covered the genocide. He later joined the Los Angeles Times and continued to file dispatches from conflict zones including Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq.

He documented the emotional toll of his experiences in his bestselling 2008 memoir, Where War Lives.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.