May 10, 2022 11:14 pm

‘We Did It Again’: Kashmir Celebrates Second Pulitzer In 3 Years

Sanna Irshad Mattoo

“Moments like these uplift the morale of the entire fraternity. And I believe it will only encourage the people-welfare journalism in Kashmir.”

Srinagar- As soon as the news of a Kashmiri journalist figuring in the 2022 Pulitzer winner list spread, all and sundry including the local political camp got activated to hail a young photojournalist for her global recognition.

Sanna Irshad Mattoo, 28, received the award for her last year’s extensive Covid coverage. Her feat gave Kashmir the “journalism Oscar”, second time, in three years.

The young photojournalist from Old Srinagar shared the award with her three colleagues in the Feature Photography category.

Before Sanna, it was Associated Press’s Dar Yasin and Mukhtar Khan—the former Kashmir Observer staffer—who were honoured with Pulitzer in 2020 for their Kashmir coverage.

Ranging from groundbreaking news to in-depth storytelling, Sanna’s work concentrates on life in Kashmir and its different shades.

Her work has been published in newspapers and magazines around the world and has been screened and exhibited in various exhibitions and festivals. She presently contributes to Reuters as a Multimedia Journalist.

Her feat created a rousing reception in Kashmir with scribes leading from the front to hail it as an “exemplary achievement”.

“Kashmir Rocks: Our girl Sanna Irshad Mattoo has won Pulitzer Prize in photojournalism. We are proud of you Sanna,” said Sanjay Kaw, a Kashmiri journalist working with The Asian Age.

Sanjay’s colleague Yusuf Jameel termed the award as a proud moment for all the tribe across Jammu and Kashmir and beyond. “We did it again! I’m thrilled and feeling proud as well”.

Sanna got the award for her photo of a healthcare worker administering a dose of the CoviShield vaccine to a shepherd man during a vaccination drive in Lidderwat, Anantnag district, on June 10, 2021.

Many senior scribes of Kashmir termed the feat as a boost to the tribe.

“It might be a single person’s feat,” said a senior journalist, “but it’s a collective joy of all those journalists who are objectively working on the ground.”

A veteran journalist termed the award as a shot in the ‘Press arm’.

“Moments like these uplift the morale of the entire fraternity,” he said. “And I believe it will only encourage the people-welfare journalism in Kashmir.”

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Zaid Bin Shabir

Zaid Bin Shabir is a special correspondent at Kashmir Observer. He tweets @Zaidbinshabir