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Monday, April 19, 2010


This lady was in the news recently having won a prestigious award. Can you identify her.


It is Mary Chind, photographer of Des Moines Register who won the Pulitzer Prize today for her dramatic photo of a construction worker rescuing a woman from the Des Moines River.

Pulitzer award perhaps is very well known across the globe as a recognition for great photographs. Instituted by Joseph Pulitzer, who in the latter years of 19th century, stood out as the very embodiment of American journalism. Hungarian-born, an intense indomitable figure, Pulitzer was the most skillful of newspaper publishers, a passionate crusader against dishonest government, a fierce, hawk-like competitor who did not shrink from sensationalism in circulation struggles, and a visionary who richly endowed his profession. His innovative New York World and St. Louis Post-Dispatch reshaped newspaper journalism. He made a flexible will in 1904 which provided for the establishment of the Pulitzer Prizes as an incentive to excellence. The first Pulitzer Prizes were awarded June 4, 1917; they are now announced each April. Recipients are chosen by an independent board.

Here is the photo which won international acclaim and the Pulitzer prize.

Chind’s winning photo showed construction worker Jason Oglesbee dangling from a crane, reaching down to grab Patricia Ralph-Neely from the roiling water. Ralph-Neely and her husband, Alan Neely, had fallen into the water after their disabled boat went over the Center Street dam in downtown Des Moines June 30. Alan Neely drowned, and rescue workers were unable to reach his wife in the swirling current under the dam. The rolling water repeatedly sucked Ralph-Neely under, then pushed her back to the surface.

Oglesbee, who’d been working on a pedestrian bridge over the dam, chained himself to the end of a crane. The crane operator lowered him to the water, where he managed to pluck Ralph-Neely from the water. Chind, standing on the opposite riverbank, captured the scene. The photo won the Pulitzer for breaking news photography. The subjects of the photo including the hero Oglesbee had avoided publicity. Though the woman could be saved, the husband could not be. The boat that carried the couple was later pulled out of Des Moines River after it remained lodged under the dam for two days.

But Pulitzer is not all about photography alone. Prizes are awarded yearly in twenty-one categories. In twenty of these, each winner receives a certificate and a US$10,000 cash award. The winner in the public service category of the journalism competition is awarded a gold medal, which always goes to a newspaper, although an individual may be named in the citation.
The Pulitzer Prize does not automatically evaluate all applicable works in the media, but only those that have been entered with a $50 entry fee. Entries must also fit in at least one of the specific prize categories, and cannot simply gain entrance on the grounds of having general literary or compositional properties. Works can also only be entered into a maximum of two prize categories, regardless of their properties.

One displaying the greatness of Pulitzer is the award for Public service recognising distinguished meritorious public service by a newspaper or news site through the use of its journalistic resources which, as well as reporting, may include editorials, cartoons, photographs, graphics, video and other online material, presented in print or online or both, a gold medal.

This year Prize under this category was awarded to the Bristol (VA) Herald Courier for the work of Daniel Gilbert in illuminating the murky mismanagement of natural-gas royalties owed to thousands of land owners in southwest Virginia, spurring remedial action by state lawmakers. The Bristol Herald Courier is a 39,000 circulation daily newspaper owned by Richmond, Virginia-based Media General, Inc. The newspaper is located in Bristol, Virginia, a small city located in Southwest Virginia on the Tennessee border.

With regards – S Sampathkumar.

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