Image of ‘hatred of our times’ wins World Press Photo

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In this Dec. 19, 2016 file photo Mevlut Mert Altintas stands over Andrei Karlov, right, the Russian ambassador to Turkey, after shooting him at an art gallery in Ankara, Turkey. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici, File)
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In this Dec. 19, 2016 file photo, Mevlut Mert Altintas shouts threatens onlookers after shooting Andrei Karlov, right, the Russian ambassador to Turkey, at an art gallery in Ankara, Turkey. Associated Press photographer Burhan Ozbilici won the 2017 World Press Photo competition Monday for the image. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici, File)
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Gallery goers cower after Mevlut Mert Altintas shot Andrei Karlov, the Russian ambassador to Turkey, at an art gallery in Ankara, Turkey, on Dec. 19, 2016. Associated Press photographer Burhan Ozbilici won the 2017 World Press Photo competition Monday Feb. 13, 2017 for the image. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici, File)
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AP photographer and 2017 World Press Photo Contest winner Burhan Ozbilici, right, is interviewed by Lars Boering, managing director of the World Press Photo Foundation in front of his winning picture during a press conference in Amsterdam, Netherlands, on Monday. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
Updated 13 February 2017
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Image of ‘hatred of our times’ wins World Press Photo

THE HAGUE: Brandishing a gun, his face contorted with rage, the shocking image of a Turkish policeman assassinating the Russian envoy to Turkey on Monday won the prestigious World Press Photo Award.
Judges praised the courage and bravery of Burhan Ozbilici, a photographer for Associated Press, who stood his ground as 22-year-old policeman Mevlut Mert Altintas pumped nine bullets into ambassador Andrei Karlov at the opening of an Ankara exhibition.
“From the moment I heard the shots I knew this was a historic moment, very serious,” Ozbilici told AFP.
“I knew I had to do my job. As a journalist, I couldn’t just run away to save my skin.”
The vivid photo was to go viral around the world, and has been viewed some 18 million times.
The judges from the World Press Photo Foundation in Amsterdam acknowledged they had had a tough job to choose the 2017 winner from more than 80,400 images submitted by 5,034 photographers from 125 countries.
“It was a very, very difficult decision, but in the end we felt that the picture of the year was an explosive image that really spoke to the hatred of our times,” said jury member Mary Calvert.
Agence France-Presse also scooped three awards. Manila-based photographer Noel Celis took third place in the General News category for his photo of inmates trying to sleep in an over-populated prison in the city.
Syrian snappers Abd Doumany and Ameer Alhalbi won second prize in the Spot News category for their pictures of children caught up in the bombardments of Aleppo and Douma. It is the second year in the row that Doumany’s work has been honored by the World Press Photo foundation.
“It’s not easy for these photographers, for these Syrians. It’s taking terrible risks. They are young guys telling their stories from hell basically,” jury president, British photographer Stuart Franklin, told AFP.
Ozbilici, who covered the failed coup bid in Turkey and has carried out missions in Syria, Libya and Egypt, said he always tried to be ready for difficult tests, “to have the courage to confront a world which has been made rotten by the dishonest and corrupt, in order to try to do some good.”
He said he was sorry for the death of the envoy, whom he described as a “natural, kind, sincere man” whose death was a direct consequence of the “Syrian catastrophe.”
“This photo marked an important moment in the history of Turkey, especially in relations with Turkey,” said Ozbilici, who has worked for AP since 1989.
Jury members agreed his photo captured an important moment in time.
“Right now I see the world marching toward the edge of an abyss,” said jury member Joao Silva, referring to Altintas as a man who had “clearly reached a breaking point.”
“This image to me talks” of everything that is happening across the world. “It is the face of hatred.”


7D News looks to add new dimension to Middle East affairs

Updated 24 April 2018
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7D News looks to add new dimension to Middle East affairs

LONDON: Do you have a camel at home? Is there an oil wheel in your garden? These are some of the least-informed questions that Dr. Ali Rashid Al-Nuaimi, editor-in-chief of the new media platform 7D News, has encountered on visits to the West.
Al-Nuaimi, a UAE national and member of the Executive Council of Abu Dhabi, said he spotted a gap in the online media market for an outlet “that is a force for good, not just reportage.”
This begins with unpicking stereotypes about the Middle East, Al-Nuaimi said during an interview at the 7D News launch party in London on Thursday.
“What people here in the West know about the Arab world is terrorism, wars, discrimination against women … we want to change it,” he said.
Serving up daily news blasts complemented by background pieces that aim to show “the stories behind the headlines,” as the news service’s slogan reads, the site plans to provide a fresh perspective on the region, beginning with coverage showcasing the “achievements of the UAE.”
Al-Nuaimi said that the London-based news site — which is owned by Emirates Media and Research — was initially envisioned as an Arabic platform.
But Al-Nuaimi decided that English had a more international reach, and said the site will be completely impartial. “There won’t be any no-go areas,” he said.
Basing the site out of London, with reporters in cities around the world, he hopes to have a global impact by targeting an “elite audience” of readers and viewers with the scope to “impact their community.”
This means politicians, public figures, community leaders — those in a position to make a difference, Al-Nuaimi said. Issues including tolerance, integration, extremism and peace-building will be high on the agenda, with a focus on spotlighting leaders contributing to their community.
“I came from a background where I saw the added value of media in countering extremism,” he said.
“We want to look into news, incidents, events with angles that bring people together (rather than) dividing them, bridging the gaps between different cultures, different religions. I think this is a vacuum that needs to be filled.”
Humaira Patel, a reporter who recently joined the 7D team said the platform will feature “news that brings out the best.”
“I think 7D will be different,” she said.