Jailed Reuters reporters, US border photographers win Pulitzer Prizes

Reuters journalist Kyaw Soe Oo and Wa Lone are escorted by police as they leave after a court hearing in Yangon on August 20, 2018. (Reuters)
Updated 16 April 2019
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Jailed Reuters reporters, US border photographers win Pulitzer Prizes

  • The Reuters honorees have been jailed for 490 days in Myanmar for their role in uncovering Rohingya killings
  • Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, both Myanmar citizens, found a mass grave filled with bones sticking out of the ground

NEW YORK: Reuters won two Pulitzer Prizes on Monday, one for revealing the massacre of 10 Muslim Rohingya men by Buddhist villagers and Myanmar security forces, and another for photographs of Central American migrants seeking refuge in the United States.
The awards marked the second year in a row that Reuters has won two Pulitzers, the most prestigious prize in American journalism. Reuters has won seven since 2008.
Two of this year’s honorees have been jailed for 490 days in Myanmar for their role in uncovering the killings.
“While it’s gratifying to be recognized for the work, public attention should be focused more on the people about whom we report than on us: in this case, the Rohingya and the Central American migrants,” Reuters Editor-in-Chief Stephen J. Adler said.
In other categories, coverage of mass shootings in the United States and investigations into US President Donald Trump featured prominently. The New York Times and the Washington Post also took two Pulitzers each.
Reuters and the Associated Press were both awarded prizes for international reporting, with the AP winning for its coverage of war atrocities in Yemen.
The Reuters award was for an investigative report that revealed the massacre of 10 Rohingya at the village of Inn Din, in the heart of the conflict zone of Rakhine state in Myanmar.
Two young Reuters reporters, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, both Myanmar citizens, found a mass grave filled with bones sticking out of the ground. They went on to gather testimony from perpetrators, witnesses and families of victims.
They obtained three devastating photographs from villagers: two showed the 10 Rohingya men bound and kneeling; the third showed the mutilated and bullet-ridden bodies of the same 10 men in the same shallow grave.
In December 2017, before Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo could complete their story, they were arrested in what international observers have criticized as an effort by authorities to block the report. The report, “Massacre in Myanmar,” was completed by colleagues Simon Lewis and Antoni Slodkowski and published in February of last year.
In September, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were sentenced to seven years imprisonment for violating the country’s Official Secrets Act.
“I’m thrilled that Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo and their colleagues have been recognized for their extraordinary, courageous coverage, and our photojournalists for their moving pictures that show humanity defying huge obstacles,” Adler said. “I remain deeply distressed, however, that our brave reporters Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo are still behind bars.”
In the breaking news photography category, 11 Reuters photographers contributed pictures to “On the Migrant Trail to America,” a package of images showing asylum-seekers and other migrants from Central America at the US border.
One photo by Kim Kyung-Hoon showed migrants fleeing tear gas launched by US authorities into Mexico at the San Diego-Tijuana border. In the image a mother grabs her twin daughters by the arm, one in diapers and wearing rubber sandals, the other barefoot, as a teargas cannister emits its fumes.
In another image, an aerial photo, Mike Blake was the first to photograph the detention facility in Tornillo, Texas, where children walked in single file, like prisoners.
Goran Tomasevic captured an image in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, a city with one of the highest murder rates in the world, of a rooster scratching in the dirt next to the slain body of a Barrio 18 gang member. Tomasevic was a previous finalist for his pictures of the war in Syria.
The New York Times won a prize for explanatory reporting of Trump’s finances and tax avoidance and another for editorial writing by Brent Staples.
The Washington Post’s Lorenzo Tugnoli won the feature photography prize for images of the famine in Yemen and the newspaper’s Carlos Lozada also won for criticism.
The Wall Street Journal won the national reporting prize for uncovering Trump’s secret payoffs to two women during his campaign who claimed to have had affairs with him.
Coverage of mass shootings in the United States was also recognized four times.
The South Florida Sun Sentinel won the public service award for “exposing failings by school and law enforcement officials before and after the deadly shooting rampage at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School,” the Pulitzer board said. Seventeen people died in the massacre at the Parkland, Florida, high school on Feb. 14, 2018.
The staff of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette won the breaking news prize for its coverage of “immersive, compassionate” coverage of the massacre at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue that killed 11 people on Oct. 27, 2018.
Pulitzer administrator Dana Canedy, upon announcing the winners, also offered admiration for a non-winner: the staff of the Eagle Eye student newspaper at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School for its coverage of the killings.
The Pulitzer board also awarded a special citation to the Capital Gazette of Annapolis, Maryland, for “their courageous response to the largest killing of journalists in US history in their newsroom.” A gunman shot and killed five people there on June 28, 2018.


Trump complained to Twitter CEO about lost followers -source

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey (L) and U.S. President Donald Trump. (REUTERS)
Updated 24 April 2019
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Trump complained to Twitter CEO about lost followers -source

  • Reuters reported in 2016 Trump had been angry with Twitter because it had rejected an advertising deal with his campaign

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump met with Twitter Inc’s Chief Executive Jack Dorsey on Tuesday and spent a significant time questioning him about why he has lost some Twitter followers, a person briefed on the matter said.
The meeting, which was organized by the White House last week, came hours after Trump again attacked the social media company over his claims it is biased against conservatives.
“Great meeting this afternoon at the @WhiteHouse with @Jack from @Twitter. Lots of subjects discussed regarding their platform, and the world of social media in general. Look forward to keeping an open dialogue!” Trump tweeted, posting a photo of Dorsey and others with him in the Oval Office.
Earlier on Tuesday, Trump suggested Twitter was biased against him without providing evidence. He wrote on Twitter that the company does not “treat me well as a Republican. Very discriminatory.”
Twitter said in a statement Dorsey had a “constructive meeting with the president of the United States today at the president’s invitation. They discussed Twitter’s commitment to protecting the health of the public conversation ahead of the 2020 US elections and efforts underway to respond to the opioid crisis.”
Unlike other major US tech company executives, Dorsey had not previously met with Trump.
He was not invited to a December 2016 meeting with president-elect Trump that featured other major tech companies. Reuters reported in 2016 Trump had been angry with Twitter because it had rejected an advertising deal with his campaign.
Trump has been upset about losing followers.
In October, Trump wrote that “Twitter has removed many people from my account and, more importantly, they have seemingly done something that makes it much harder to join — they have stifled growth to a point where it is obvious to all. A few weeks ago it was a Rocket Ship, now it is a Blimp! Total Bias?“
Any reduction is likely the result of Twitter’s recent moves to remove millions of suspicious accounts after it and other social media services were used in misinformation campaigns attempting to influence voters in the 2016 US presidential race and other elections, Reuters reported in October.
Shares in Twitter jumped 13 percent on Tuesday after it reported quarterly revenue above analyst estimates, which executives said was the result of weeding out spam and abusive posts and targeting ads better.
Trump lost 204,000, or 0.4 percent, of his 53.4 million followers in July when Twitter started its purge of suspicious accounts, according to social media data firm Keyhole.
Trump has one of the most-followed accounts on Twitter. But the president and Republicans in Congress have repeatedly criticized the company and its social media competitors for what they have called bias against conservatives, something Twitter denies.
Democratic US Senator Mazie Hirono said earlier this month “we cannot allow the Republican party to harass tech companies into weakening content moderation policies that already fail to remove hateful, dangerous and misleading content.”
Carlos Monje, Twitter’s public policy director, said at a Senate hearing earlier this month the site “does not use political viewpoints, perspectives or party affiliation to make any decisions, whether related to automatically ranking content on our service or how we develop or enforce our rules.”