Posted in Behind the News

Recognizing courage in the name of slain AP photographer

, by Lauren Easton

The 2019 Anja Niedringhaus Courage in Photojournalism Award, named for the Pulitzer Prize-winning AP photographer who was killed reporting in Afghanistan in 2014, has been awarded to Eloisa Lopez, a freelance photojournalist based in Manila.

The award, administered by the International Women’s Media Foundation, recognizes the work of women photographers who put themselves at risk to report the news through images.

A pregnant Elizabeth Navarro, 29, cradles her baby during the wake of her five-year-old son Francis and husband Domingo Manosca, who were shot and killed by a masked gunman in their home at Pasay City, Philippines, December 11, 2016. (Eloisa Lopez)
Eloisa Lopez. (Eloisa Lopez)

Lopez, a Filipino journalist whose work focuses on human rights, women and religion, has documented nightly killings across Manila after Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte declared a war on drugs in 2016. She continues to capture the families left behind by the violence, through images the jurors described as delivering “a unique vision of compassion.”

“Coverage on the drug war is subsiding but people are still dying; it’s becoming normal. Elevating the voices of those left behind is critical now more than ever,” Lopez said in remarks shared by IWMF. “It’s hard to find the words to express what a deep honor this award is for me. I share it with my fellow journalists and photographers who continue to document this story.”

A woman holds a candle and a placard with the word "Justice" during a protest across the wake of 17-year-old Kian Loyd Delos Santos. (Eloisa Lopez)

The award jury, which included representatives from AP and Human Rights Watch and other photojournalists, noted that “the tremendous promise of this young photographer is palatable, and Anja nurtured this type of potential among many up-and-coming journalists.”

Photojournalists Mary Calvert and Tasneem Alsultan received honorable mentions.

Anja Niedringhaus. (AP Photo)

Niedringhaus, who received the IWMF Courage in Journalism Award in 2005, was shot and killed by an Afghan policeman in April 2014. This year’s award ceremony will be held at the residence of the German ambassador in Washington in June.