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Ear to the Ground

This Brave Woman Gave Her Life to Bring You the News

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Posted on Apr 4, 2014
AP Photo/Peter Dejong

Associated Press photojournalist Anja Niedringhaus was shot to death by an Afghan policeman Friday.

She was on the job, and, according to a note from the AP, she may have been targeted.

Niedringhaus was an accomplished journalist who, in 2005, won both the Pulitzer Prize and the International Women’s Media Foundation Courage in Journalism Award for her coverage of the Iraq War.

In an obituary, AP shares a warm, bittersweet anecdote from her last days:

Two days before her death, she made potatoes and sausage in Kabul for veteran AP correspondent Kathy Gannon, who was wounded in the attack that killed Niedringhaus, and photographer Muhammed Muheisen.

“I was so concerned about her safety. And she was like, ‘Momo, this is what I’m meant to do. I’m happy to go,’” Muheisen recalled. And then they talked, and argued. Mostly, they laughed.

AP CEO Gary Pruitt said in a letter to staff, “Anja is the 32nd AP staffer to give their life in pursuit of the news since AP was founded in 1846. As conflict spreads throughout regions of the world, journalism has become more dangerous. Where once reporters and photographers were seen as the impartial eyes and ears of crucial information, today they are often targets.”

Let us remember that the news is never free.


—Posted by Peter Z. Scheer

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