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Pulitzer Center Update August 31, 2021

Amid Afghanistan’s Tragedy, Why Real Reporting Matters


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Several young Afghans are fighting for their own survival and that of their country as the Americans...

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Multiple Authors
Jane Ferguson reporting from Kabul

PBS NewsHour special correspondent Jane Ferguson has reported from Afghanistan multiple times, but never under such harrowing circumstances. She and producer Eric O’Connor arrived in Kabul on August 14, hours before the city and country fell to the Taliban. In the days that followed, the stories they have produced, in conjunction with their superb colleagues at NewsHour, brought home both the unfolding calamity of a botched withdrawal and the larger tragedies in the two decades of U.S. military engagement in Afghanistan.

In its coverage of Afghanistan, as in so much else, NewsHour is an oasis of serious, in-depth broadcast journalism. You could have wasted hours this troubling month on cable listening to the pronouncements of “expert” talking heads, many of them former administration officials, military officers, and journalists who were themselves complicit in one failed policy after another. If you watched NewsHour, you got something else entirely: on-the-ground reporting, intelligent analysis, and a gut-wrenching sense of what these events mean, for the Afghan people and for us.

Ferguson and O’Connor are each multiple Pulitzer Center grantees, with previous work from regions as diverse as South Sudan, Iraq, Venezuela, and China. The video reports they have filed are among more than 200 on which we have partnered with NewsHour: multi-part series on AIDS, Russia, migration, the future of food, and so much more. We are honored to collaborate with such distinguished work. If you haven’t seen these stories, I hope you’ll take a look. If you’re not part of the NewsHour community already, I hope you’ll join—and if it pulls you away from the cable circus, even better!


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Photo: A screenshot shows Jane Ferguson reporting from Kabul for PBS NewsHour during a broadcast on August 23, 2021. Afghanistan.


Grantee Anita Pouchard Serra is a winner of the South American Prize for Journalism on Migration, organized by the International Organization for Migration (IOM)'s Regional Office for South America, for her Pulitzer Center-supported project Immigrant Women at the Front of COVID-19 Resistance in Buenos Aires. The winning journalists each received a grant from the IOM to carry out a reporting project on migration with assistance from mentoring sessions with experts from the Gabo Foundation.

This message first appeared in the August 31, 2021, edition of the Pulitzer Center's weekly newsletter. Subscribe today.

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