Anja Niedringhaus

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Anja Niedringhaus (12 October 1965 – 4 April 2014) was a German photojournalist who worked for the Associated Press (AP).[1][2][3][4] She was the only woman on a team of 11 AP photographers that won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Photography for coverage of the Iraq War.[5] That same year she was awarded the International Women's Media Foundation's Courage in Journalism prize.[6]

Niedringhaus had covered Afghanistan for several years before she was killed on Friday, 4 April 2014, while covering the presidential election, after an Afghan policeman opened fire at the car she was waiting in at a checkpoint, part of an election convoy.[7]

Early life and education

Niedringhaus was born in Höxter, North Rhine-Westphalia, and began working as a freelance photographer at age 17 while still in high school. In 1989, she covered the collapse of the Berlin Wall for the German newspaper Göttinger Tageblatt.[6]


Niedringhaus began full-time work as a photojournalist in 1990 when she joined the European Pressphoto Agency in Frankfurt, Germany. As EPA's Chief Photographer she spent the first ten years of her career covering the wars in the former Yugoslavia.[6]

In 2001, Niedringhaus photographed the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York City and then traveled to Afghanistan, where she spent three months covering the fall of the Taliban.[6] In 2002, she joined Associated Press, for whom she has worked in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Gaza Strip, Israel, Kuwait and Turkey.[6] On 23 October 2005, she received the IWMF Courage in Journalism Award from American broadcaster Bob Schieffer at a ceremony in New York.[6]

In 2007, Niedringhaus was awarded a Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University.[8] She was part of the 69th class of Nieman Fellows where she studied culture, history, religion and the issues of gender in the Middle East and their impact on the development of foreign policy in the United States and other Western countries. Established in 1938, the Nieman program is the oldest mid-career fellowship for journalists in the world. The fellowships are awarded to working journalists of accomplishment and promise for an academic year of study at the university.

Niedringhaus' work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in Frankfurt, Germany,[9] and in galleries and museums elsewhere, including Graz, Austria.[10]


Niedringhaus was killed at the age of 48 in an attack in Afghanistan, while covering the country's 2014 presidential election.[2][3][7][11] Fellow AP journalist, Kathy Gannon, a 60-year-old Canadian, was seriously injured in the attack and underwent emergency surgery. The attack took place at a checkpost on the outskirts of Khost city in Tani District, where the journalists were part of an independent election commission convoy delivering ballots under the protection of the Afghan National Army and Afghan police. While the two were waiting in the car, an Afghan police unit commander named Naqibullah walked up to their car and opened fire while yelling "Allahu Akbar" (God is Great); shooting the two women in the back seat. After the attack, the officer surrendered, and was taken into custody.[1][4] Six judges at the Kabul District Court found Naqibullah guilty of wounding, murder and treason and sentenced him to death.[12]


  1. ^ a b Kim Gaeml (4 April 2014). "AP Photographer Anja Niedringhaus Killed, Reporter Kathy Gannon Shot In Afghanistan". Huffington Post. Archived from the original on 30 October 2014. Retrieved 11 December 2014.
  2. ^ a b DL Cade (4 April 2014). "Veteran AP Photographer Killed by Afghan Policeman Who Opened Fire on Her Vehicle". Peta Pixel. Archived from the original on 7 April 2014. Retrieved 11 December 2014.
  3. ^ a b Michael Edwards (4 April 2014). "Two female foreign journalists shot in Afghanistan, one dead". Australian Broadcasting Network. Archived from the original on 5 April 2014. Retrieved 11 December 2014.
  4. ^ a b "Kathy Gannon, Canadian-born journalist, wounded in Afghanistan, colleague, photographer Anja Niedringhaus, killed". National Post. 4 April 2014. Retrieved 11 December 2014.
  5. ^ "The 2005 Pulitzer Prize Winners: Breaking News Photography". The Pulitzer Prizes. Retrieved 31 October 2013.
  6. ^ a b c d e f "2005 Courage in Journalism Award: Anja Niedringhaus, Germany". International Women's Media Foundation. Retrieved 4 April 2014.
  7. ^ a b "Afghan elections: two foreign journalists shot on eve of polls". The Daily Telegraph. 4 April 2014. Retrieved 4 April 2014.
  8. ^ "Alumni Fellows". Nieman Foundation, Nieman Fellowships. Retrieved 4 April 2014.
  9. ^ "The Lucid Evidence". Museum für Moderne Kunst. Archived from the original on 2 November 2013. Retrieved 5 April 2014.
  10. ^ "M_ARS – Kunst und Krieg, 2003". Neue Galerie Graz. Retrieved 5 April 2014.
  11. ^ Anja Niedringhaus: Deutsche Fotografin in Afghanistan erschossen,, retrieved 4 April 2014 (in German)
  12. ^ "Death sentence given in AP photographer's killing". Yahoo News. 23 July 2014. Archived from the original on 23 July 2014. Retrieved 11 December 2014.

External links

  • Anja Niedringhaus on IMDb
  • Anja Niedringhaus at Library of Congress Authorities, with 1 catalog records
  • "In Memoriam: Anja Niedringhaus (1965—2014)". TIME LightBox. Archived from the original on 4 April 2014. Retrieved 4 April 2014.
  • Story about Niedringhaus by NPR Berlin
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