Pulitzer Center Update

Rana Plaza Collapse Investigation Wins Two SAJA Awards for Outstanding Reporting, Commentary

Rajina Aktar survived the January 2013 blaze at Smart Export Garments. Image by Jason Motlagh. Bangladesh, 2013.

Pulitzer Center grantee journalist Jason Motlagh won two 2014 South Asian Journalism Association (SAJA) Journalism Awards for his in-depth examination of the collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory collapse: the Daniel Pearl Award for Outstanding Reporting about South Asia for his multimedia report "Ghosts of Rana Plaza" in Virginia Quarterly Review, and Best Commentary for his article in The Washington Post.

SAJA announced the winners of its 2014 awards at the SAJA@20 Convention on Saturday, October 11, at New York University. SAJA received more than 160 entries in 11 categories. Motlagh's reporting stemmed from his Pulitzer Center-supported project, "Bangladesh: The Real Cost of Fast Fashion."

The Daniel Pearl Award for Outstanding Reporting about South Asia was established in memory of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, who was killed while reporting in Pakistan. SAJA notes that this award "recognizes outstanding in-depth reporting that exhibits the kind of courage and integrity that Pearl embodied in his work." Motlagh's in-depth investigation appeared in the spring 2014 issue of the Virginia Quarterly Review. The Ghosts of Rana Plaza, an interactive timeline presentation of this story was, produced by Pulitzer Center and VQR.

The Washington Post "Outlook" section article written by Motlagh won in the category of Outstanding Editorial/Commentary on South Asia, or the worldwide South Asians diaspora. The article is titled "A year after Rana Plaza: What hasn’t changed since the Bangladesh factory collapse."

Among Motlagh's images from his award-winning Pulitzer Center-supported reporting are the hands of Lutfer Rahman holding a document that his daughter found next to the body of his wife, Rina Rahman, confirming her death in the collapse in Bangladesh.