Pulitzer Prize-winning Associated Press photographers on Friday had dodged tear gas to capture protests against racial injustice and patiently built trust with the elderly to empathically document the toll of the coronavirus pandemic.
AP’s chief photographer in Spain, Emilio Morenatti, won the feature film award. The work of 10 AP photographers won the news award.
“The outstanding work of AP’s photographic staff to cover racial justice protests and Emilio Morenatti’s compassionate look at the impact of COVID-19 on older people in Spain are two shining examples of what photojournalists are doing. strive to do everywhere: use light and shadow to bring knowledge and understanding to all corners of the world, ”said J. David Ake, associate editor and cinematographer of AP.
Madrid-based Morenatti separated from his family for months to avoid the risk of exposure as he documented the COVID-19 toll on the elderly.
He captured footage of an older couple kissing and kissing through a sheet of plastic, mortuary workers in hazardous materials gear removing bodies and people enduring the crisis in isolation .
Morenatti is a veteran photographer with extensive experience in war zones. He joined the US military in southern Afghanistan in August 2009 when the vehicle he was in was hit by a roadside bomb. His left leg was amputated below the knee.
The AP photographers who won the breaking news category captured the drama and raw emotion of the protests that rocked American cities after the May 2020 death of George Floyd, a black man murdered by a Minneapolis police officer.
PA photographers captured close-up footage of protesters with fists in the air and sometimes violent clashes with police. A photograph widely reproduced by Julio Cortez on the night of May 28 in riot-torn Minneapolis shows a lone, silhouetted protester running with an American flag upside down outside a burning liquor store.
The ten photographers who won the breaking news award are freelance writer Noah Berger, Alex Brandon, freelance writer Ringo Chiu, Cortez, Frank Franklin II, David Goldman, John Minchillo, Marcio Sanchez, Mike Stewart and Evan Vucci.
The PA also had two Pulitzer finalists in the investigative reporting category and an additional finalist for breaking news photography.
The two AP finalists in the investigative reporting category were for Fruits of Labor, a series that denounced widespread abuses in the lucrative palm oil industry, and for reporting on the bad. China’s handling of the coronavirus and human rights violations against Uyghurs.
AP was a finalist in breaking news photography for images of the immediate aftermath of the port explosion that razed part of Beirut.
This is the second year in a row that AP has won the Pulitzer for feature film photography. AP last won both photography awards in 1999.
The information cooperative, which is celebrating its 175th anniversary this year, has won 56 Pulitzer Prizes, including 34 for photography.