Reuters wins Pulitzers for Rohingya photography, Philippine coverage of ‘drug war’

An exhausted Rohingya refugee woman touches the shore after crossing the Bangladesh-Myanmar border by boat through the Bay of Bengal, in Shah Porir Dwip, Bangladesh on September 11, 2017. The Reuters photography staff was honored for images of the violence endured by the Rohingya. (Reuters)
Updated 17 April 2018
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Reuters wins Pulitzers for Rohingya photography, Philippine coverage of ‘drug war’

NEW YORK: Reuters won Pulitzer Prizes on Monday for international reporting and photography while the New York Times and Washington Post shared honors for exposing sexual harassment in America and detailing the US investigation of Russia’s involvement in the 2016 presidential election.
The Pulitzers, the most prestigious awards in American journalism, recognized Reuters in international reporting for exposing the methods of police killing squads in Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs, and for feature photography documenting the Rohingya refugee crisis in Myanmar and Bangladesh.
“In a year in which many Pulitzers were rightly devoted to US domestic matters, we’re proud at Reuters to shine a light on global issues of profound concern and importance,” Reuters Editor-in-Chief Stephen J. Adler said.
It was the first time Reuters has won two prizes in one year.
In the Philippines coverage, Reuters reporters Clare Baldwin, Andrew R.C. Marshall and Manuel Mogato “demonstrated how police in the president’s ‘drug war’ have killed with impunity and consistently been shielded from prosecution,” Adler said.
The coverage included a report that revealed how a police anti-drug squad on the outskirts of Manila had recorded an unusually high number of killings. Many members of the squad came from a distant place that was also Duterte’s hometown, where the campaign’s brutal methods originated during his time as mayor there.
Asked on Monday for comment on the Pulitzer award, Duterte’s spokesman Harry Roque offered his congratulations to the Filipino member of the Reuters team, but stood by a campaign he said was lawful and necessary.
“Definitely, I’d have to congratulate Manuel Mogato but the fact remains that the policy of the president on the drug war is that the drug war is legitimate, intended to protect the youth from the ill effect of drugs,” Roque said during a regular news briefing.
Roque said the government would defend state officials involved in drug-related killings who had followed the law, but not those who had broken it.
“If the killings are contrary to law and unjustified, it will cause the criminal prosecution of the policemen themselves,” Roque said.
The Reuters photography staff was honored for images of the violence endured by the Rohingya, a Muslim minority, as they fled Myanmar for Bangladesh.
“The extraordinary photography of the mass exodus of the Rohingya people to Bangladesh demonstrates not only the human cost of conflict but also the essential role photojournalism can play in revealing it,” Adler said.
Reuters reporters Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo have been jailed in Myanmar since Dec. 12, charged under the colonial-era Official Secrets Act, while investigating the killing of 10 Rohingya Muslim men in Rakhine state.
In the US, major media took other Pulitzers for reporting that shaped the political and cultural agenda.
The New York Times and the New Yorker magazine shared the honor for public service for their reporting on sexual harassment allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.
New York Times reporters Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey won for their report on Weinstein, which triggered a series of similar allegations against influential men in politics, journalism and show business and gave rise to the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements that have encouraged victims to come forward.
The New Yorker’s Ronan Farrow was recognized for a Weinstein report that detailed the allegations of a woman who reported her accusations to New York police. Authorities have since renewed a criminal investigation of Weinstein.
The Washington Post won the investigative reporting prize for breaking the story that the Alabama US Senate candidate Roy Moore had a history of courting teenage girls. The Moore report came as stories of men abusing their power over women abounded, contributing to changing public attitudes. Moore, a Republican backed by President Donald Trump, had been favored to win the special election but lost to Democrat Doug Jones.
The New York Times and the Washington Post shared the honor for national reporting for their coverage of the investigation into Russian involvement in the 2016 US presidential election.


SRMG announces soft launch of IndependentUrdu.com

Updated 23 April 2019
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SRMG announces soft launch of IndependentUrdu.com

  • Baker Atyani appointed editor in chief
  • Website is part of third phase of project to launch The Independent in Arabic, Turkish, Urdu and Persian

RIYADH: The Saudi Research and Marketing Group (SRMG) has announced the soft launch of www.independenturdu.com.
The website is part of the third phase of the SRMG’s project to launch The Independent in Arabic, Turkish, Urdu and Persian, under a licensing agreement that was signed and announced last year with the British publisher of The Independent.
The SRMG also announced the appointment of veteran journalist Baker Atyani as editor in chief of Independent Urdu. This is in addition to his current position as Asia bureau chief for Arab News.
A group of well-known and experienced journalists has already joined the project and is working in its offices in Islamabad.
Atyani has extensive experience as a journalist, political analyst and TV producer, and is very well versed in Asian current affairs.
SRMG Chairman Abdulrahman Alrowaita said: “The launch of independenturdu.com stands as the third phase of our multilingual project with The Independent.”
He added: “We are so eager to have the new website … attract a wider readership in the Urdu language to read diversified, highly professional content.”
He expressed hope that with this project, “the media industry and content creation will be enriched in our region and the world.”