April 18, 2006
The Dallas Morning News Photography Team Wins Pulitzer Prize
Award Recognizes Breaking News Photo Coverage of Hurricane Katrina
Dallas -- The 2006 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Photography was awarded Monday to a Dallas Morning News photography team for its visual narrative of the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina. The announcement marked the eighth time since 1986 that the newspaper has won journalism's most prestigious award and the fourth time it has done so for photography.
The winning entry was a portfolio of 20 photographs depicting the storm's fury and its human aftermath, captured by photographers Michael Ainsworth, Melanie Burford, Barbara Davidson, Tom Fox, Brad Loper, Michael Mulvey, Smiley N. Pool and Irwin Thompson. The winning photos can be viewed online at www.DallasNews.com.
Three of the newspaper's photographers were waiting in the path of the hurricane when it struck the Gulf Coast on August 29. Others replaced them as the drama unfolded, and the newspaper had a continuing presence there until November.
William Snyder, director of photography for The Dallas Morning News, praised the work of the photo department, including the staff on the scene and those supporting the effort in Dallas. "In my mind, the entire department contributed to this. There were good photographs from every person involved in this, and the people who didn't work directly on the hurricane coverage contributed by filling in back here," said Snyder.
The Dallas Morning News Editor Robert W. Mong Jr. noted that staff members had performed under primitive and sometimes dangerous conditions. "The courage, perseverance and heroics of the staff under really horrific circumstances have won our admiration," he said.
Upon learning about the award, Barbara Davidson expressed a sentiment that was shared among the photographers, "It was such a terrible tragedy for so many people. I would hope that we could honor them now."
Fellow photographer Melanie Burford, who covered the hurricane's aftermath, added, "You were often put in the role of counselor and sometimes therapist. I think about all the pain that came out of that city, that came into Dallas (with the evacuees) and that remains today."
The Dallas Morning News has won the Pulitzer Prize seven times previously for: breaking news photography (in 2004 for coverage of the invasion of Iraq), feature and spot news photography, and for national, explanatory, investigative and international reporting. The paper has also been a finalist 12 times.
The Pulitzers (www.pulitzer.org) are awarded annually by Columbia University based on the recommendations of the 18-member Pulitzer board. The awards were created under the terms of the will of newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer, who endowed the journalism school at Columbia upon his death in 1911 and dictated that money be set aside for the prizes. The first awards were handed out in 1917. The Pulitzer for public service carries a prize of a gold medal. The other prizes come with cash awards of $10,000.
About The Dallas Morning News
Established in 1885, The Dallas Morning News is the nation's tenth largest newspaper, and serves a readership of nearly 1.6 million. The newspaper has received eight Pulitzer Prizes since 1986, as well as numerous other industry awards recognizing the quality of its investigative and feature journalism, design and photojournalism. Its Web site, DallasNews.com, received the Scripps Howard Foundation National Award for Web Reporting in 2005. In 2003, the paper launched the leading Spanish-language daily in North Texas, Al Dia; the standard-setting free weekday paper, Quick; and the nation's first editorial blog. The Dallas Morning News is the flagship newspaper subsidiary of Belo Corp. (NYSE: BLC), one of the nation's largest media companies with a diversified group of market-leading television, newspaper, cable and interactive media assets. A Fortune 1000 company with 7,700 employees and $1.5 billion in revenues, Belo operates in some of America's most dynamic markets in Texas, the Northwest, the Southwest, and Rhode Island and the Mid-Atlantic.