Posted in Industry Insights

AP journalists accept Pulitzer Prize for Yemen coverage

, by Patrick Maks

At a luncheon at Columbia University in New York on Tuesday, the AP journalists who documented torture, corruption and starvation in Yemen’s civil war accepted a Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting. 

AP Middle East editor Lee Keath, from left, joins AP Pulitzer Prize winners Nariman El-Mofty, Maggie Michael and Maad al-Zikry, who joins via cellphone, after they received their certificates at an awards luncheon at Columbia University, May 28, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

Reporter Maggie Michael, photographer Nariman El-Mofty and Yemeni video journalist Maad al-Zikry were awarded the Pulitzer for International Reporting in April for their “revelatory yearlong series detailing the atrocities of the war in Yemen.” 

Michael, El-Mofty and AP Middle East editor Lee Keath accepted the award during the luncheon. Keath, a fluent Arabic speaker, helped conceptualize and organize the team's stories and translate information and quotes in their contextual context. 

Al-Zikry, who was not granted a visa to travel to the U.S. for the Pulitzer ceremony, joined by El-Mofty's cellphone video. 

AP Executive Editor Sally Buzbee said: “We were terribly disappointed that Maad did not get a U.S. visa in time to come for yesterday’s Pulitzer ceremony. Maad was a critical part of the team that won the international reporting Pulitzer—his reporting, and his video work in Yemen, were essential.”

Al-Zikry was denied a visa previously to attend an April ceremony in Athens, Georgia, to receive the McGill Medal For Journalistic Courage. He was told then it was because he is from Yemen. He applied again after the team won the Pulitzer and was granted an interview, but received no answer.

AP’s yearlong coverage of the grinding conflict in Yemen exposed torture by factions on all sides of the fighting, secret deals between U.S. allies and al-Qaida militants and widespread corruption that diverted international aid from starving families. 

The work was supported by a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.

The award was announced in April. This is AP’s 53rd Pulitzer Prize.

The complete list of winners and their work is available here.