The International Women’s Media Foundation has announced the creation of the Anja Niedringhaus Courage in Photojournalism Award, honoring the Associated Press photojournalist who was slain April 4 while covering preparations for the recent elections in Afghanistan.
IWMF, based in Washington, DC, says the award will be given annually “to a woman photojournalist whose work follows in the footsteps of Anja Niedringhaus.”
Details of the award, including its monetary value and when the first award will be given, are undetermined. “We’re bouncing around a lot of ideas,” including the possibility of giving it to more than one photojournalist a year, says IWMF spokesperson Anna Schiller. “We’re still working on the details.”
The award is being established with a $1 million endowment gift from the Howard G. Buffet Foundation, according to IWMF. Several years ago, the foundation provided funding for Niedringhaus to attend Harvard University as a 2007 Nieman Fellow.
“I considered Anja a friend who represented the best of photojournalism. By creating this award, we ensure her spirit lives on,” Howard Buffet said in a statement released with the IWMF announcement.
Niedringhaus and AP correspondent Kathy Gannon were traveling with a convoy of election workers who were delivering ballots in the town of Khost, near the border with Pakistan when they were shot by an Afghan police commander on April 4. Niedringhaus died immediately. Gannon is recovering from her injuries.
Niedringhaus started her career in 1990 as a staff photographer for European Press Photo Agency. She joined the AP in 2002, covering assignments throughout the Middle East as well as Afghanistan and Pakistan, according to the AP.
Recognized for covering war and its effects on local populations, she won the IWMF Courage in Journalism Award in 2005.
At her funeral on April 12 in the central German town of Hoexter, AP Senior Vice President and Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll said of the slain photographer: “She found the quiet human moments that connected people in great strife to all the rest of us around the world.”