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Pulitzer Center Update June 30, 2016

Ako Salemi Named 2016 Persephone Miel Fellow

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A look at how climate change impacts Iran.

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Gavkhouni, located in central Iran, east of Esfahan, is the terminal basin of the Zayandeh River. Gavkhouni is a salt marsh that has completely dried up during last 10 years. Drought and diversion of water from the Zayandeh River for agricultural use are two causes. Gavkhouni receives pollution from Esfahan with a population of over 1.5 million, and pesticides and fertilizers from nearby farms. Disappearance of the wetlands will result in severely polluted salt storms that can pose serious health hazards for nearby inhabitants, such as lung cancer. Image by Ako Salemi. Iran, 2016.

We are delighted to announce that Ako Salemi, a photojournalist from Iran, is the winner of the 2016 Persephone Miel Fellowship, selected from a pool of nearly 170 applicants. Salemi will report from Iran on the impact of climate change nationwide.

The Miel fellowship honors the memory of our friend and colleague Persephone Miel, former senior advisor of Internews. Persephone passed away in 2010 after a long battle with cancer. Before her death, Persephone said she wanted to be remembered by a fellowship that would help media professionals outside the U.S. report on their home countries and bring their work to a broader international audience.

Persephone "had a very clear vision of what she wanted," Pulitzer Center Executive Director Jon Sawyer said at the time. "She's trying to make an opportunity for voices to be heard beyond a region, beyond a country in a larger world, and give us the opportunity to bring those voices to the widest possible audience."

Learn how you can support the Persephone Miel Fellowship Fund today.

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