SRINAGAR (J&K): The International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) on Thursday honoured Kashmiri photojournalist Masrat Zahra with this year’s Anja Niedringhaus Courage in Photojournalism Award.
The deadline for this year’s award was March 01, 2020 and only full-time women photojournalists, although with any nationality, were eligible.
Zahra’s pictures provide a glimpse into the everyday lives of people living in Kashmir, which, however, sees regular internet shutdowns.
Pertinently, Masrat Zahra, whose work has appeared in The Caravan, The Washington Post, TRT World, Al Jazeera, The New Humanitarian, Religion Unplugged and several other media outlets, was booked under the Unlawful Activities Prevention (Act) for her “social media posts” earlier in April this year.
Masrat said that receiving the award “shows that the work of journalists like me coming from small places is being acknowledged.”
“I hope this honor will encourage me to perfect my skills and do my work more confidently. I also expect it to inspire other women photographers who are working in difficult conditions,” she expressed.
IWMF Executive Director, Elisa Lees Munoz, said, “Countless communities around the world are facing enormous threat, harm and censorship due to governmental threats and the declining state of press freedom worldwide,” adding, “During these times, Anja’s legacy reminds us that it’s the communities beneath the headlines who are the true targets of civil and social brutality.”
The International Women’s Media Foundation, located in Washington, D.C., is an organization working internationally to elevate the status of women in the media. The IWMF has created programs to help women in the media develop practical solutions to the obstacles they face in their careers and lives.
The award is being given away to honor the life and work of Pulitzer Prize-winning AP photographer and IWMF Courage in Journalism Award winner Anja Niedringhaus (1965-2014), who was killed on assignment in Afghanistan.
The $20,000 (€17,500) prize is awarded annually by the IWMF, which has been fighting since 1990 for press freedom and supporting courageous female journalists.
**Dil-Paziir (Urdu; meaning ‘heart-pleasing’) is a special edition positive news series brought to you by Digpu, starting from Kashmir. Our local journalists have successfully shared many inspirational stories from the valley – from the invention of E-Charkha, automatic ventilator in Kashmir, stories of brotherhood through to the first-ever cricket tourney for Blind sportsmen, all the stories make us awe-struck.