Free­lance pho­tog­ra­pher Heidi Levine hon­ored by women’s jour­nal­ist group

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

Free­lance pho­tog­ra­pher Heidi Levine, who has made a ca­reer of cov­er­ing con­flicts, was hon­ored Thurs­day with the inau­gu­ral award for courage named for As­so­ci­ated Press pho­tog­ra­pher Anja Niedring­haus, who was killed on as­sign­ment in Afghanistan.

Levine, an Amer­i­can free­lance pho­to­jour­nal­ist based in Jerusalem, has spent 30 years cov­er­ing wars and rev­o­lu­tions. She worked with Niedring­haus in Is­rael, Gaza and Libya, and said it was a great honor to be the first re­cip­i­ent of the award in her name.

“Anja was not just a col­league, she was also my friend,” she said in an emo­tional ac­cep­tance speech.

San­ti­ago Lyon, AP’s di­rec­tor of pho­tog­ra­phy and a jury mem­ber, said that among more than three dozen nom­i­na­tions, Levine’s en­try “stood out from the oth­ers im­me­di­ately.”

“She is truly a re­mark­able prac­ti­tioner of pho­to­jour­nal­ism, a skilled vis­ual sto­ry­teller and a warm car­ing per­son,” Lyon said. “She is very de­serv­ing of this award.”

The Anja Niedring­haus Courage in Pho­to­jour­nal­ism Award is a US$20,000 prize es­tab­lished by the Washington-based In­ter­na­tional Women’s Media Foun­da­tion and funded by the Howard G. Buf­fett Foun­da­tion.

It was

cre­ated

to honor Niedring­haus, who was killed last year on as­sign­ment when an Afghan po­lice com­man­der walked up to the car she was in and opened fire. Her friend and col­league, AP re­porter Kathy Gan­non, was se­ri­ously in­jured in the as­sault.

At the award cer­e­mony, Gan­non said Niedring­haus showed a com­pas­sion, em­pa­thy and hu­mor in her photos that was also a re­flec­tion of how she was as a per­son.

“Anja’s pas­sion was her pho­tog­ra­phy, but she was also so much more,” Gan­non said.

She added that she can imag­ine “Anja smil­ing, happy that Heidi Levine was cho­sen as the first re­cip­i­ent of this award in her name.”

Levine is orig­i­nally from Bos­ton and moved to Is­rael in 1983. She be­gan her ca­reer with the AP and is now rep­re­sented by the Sipa Press photo agency.

The prize will be awarded an­nu­ally to a fe­male pho­to­jour­nal­ist who re­flects the courage and ded­i­ca­tion of Niedring­haus.

Niedring­haus started her ca­reer as a free­lance pho­tog­ra­pher when she was 16 in her na­tive Ger­many and went on to cover the con­flict in the for­mer Yu­goslavia. She joined the AP in 2002 and worked through­out the Mid­dle East, as well as in Afghanistan and Pak­istan. She was part of an AP team that won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Break­ing News Pho­tog­ra­phy for cov­er­age of Iraq.

AP

CNN jour­nal­ist Chris­tiane Aman­pour, left, hands over the 2015 Anja Niedring­haus Award to pho­tog­ra­pher Heidi Levine, in Ber­lin on Thurs­day, June 25.

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