NEW YORK — The unnamed people who captured on video and made public the shooting death of an Iranian protester have been chosen as winners of a George Polk Award, the first time the journalism prize has honored work produced anonymously.
Other winners of the 2009 Polk Awards, announced Tuesday in New York, include David Rohde, a New York Times correspondent recognized for a five-part series detailing his kidnapping and imprisonment by the Taliban, and David Grann, whose New Yorker magazine piece throwing into doubt the guilt of an executed convict sparked a national outcry.
The awards, presented by Long Island University, are considered among the top prizes in U.S. journalism. They were created in 1949 in honor of CBS reporter George W. Polk, who was killed while covering the Greek civil war. They will be bestowed at an April 8 luncheon in Manhattan.
The curator of the awards, John Darnton, said in a statement that the footage from Iran, while anonymously recorded and distributed, had been seen by millions of people and had become “an iconic image of the Iranian resistance.”
“This award celebrates the fact that, in today’s world, a brave bystander with a cell phone camera can use video-sharing and social networking sites to deliver news,” he said.
The video of the death of music student Neda Agha-Soltan, shot during protests of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s disputed re-election, made her name a rallying cry for the opposition… >>>