Pulitzer board awards citation and $100,000 to Afghan journalists at risk

Afghan and foreign journalists gather at a Taliban news conference in Kabul on Tuesday, Aug 24, 2021. The Pulitzer Prize board issued a special citation on Friday, Aug 27, 2021, for Afghan journalists, some of whom worked alongside Western news organizations, and announced a grant of $100,000 to provide emergency relief for the journalists and their families. (Victor J Blue/The New York Times)
The Pulitzer Prize Board issued a special citation Friday for Afghan journalists, some of whom worked alongside Western news organizations, and announced a grant of $100,000 to provide emergency relief for the journalists and their families.

The grant is to be administrated by the Committee to Protect Journalists, a nonprofit group that provides resources to journalists around the world facing threats, violence and censorship. Reporters in Afghanistan are deeply concerned about a crackdown by the Taliban regime as it takes control of the country in the wake of the US military withdrawal.

“It’s critical in a moment of stark threat to support those Afghans whose bravery, skill and commitment to the ideals of a free press have helped create so much important journalism in recent decades,” the co-chairs of the Pulitzer board — Katherine Boo, Gail Collins and John Daniszewski — said in a written announcement.

The citation includes Afghan correspondents, interpreters, drivers, hosts and other journalistic staff who have “chronicled decades of life and war.” The $100,000 grant is intended to protect the safety of the recipients and, in some cases, to help fund their efforts to resettle in other countries.

Hundreds of Afghan journalists and their relatives have left Afghanistan in recent days, with news outlets including The New York Times endeavouring to arrange flights and safe passage out of the country. Major English-speaking media organizations have depended for years on local reporters, fixers and other employees who assisted in newsgathering efforts.

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