Monday, April 20, 2009

Herald photographer Pat Farrell wins Pulitzer Prize


UPDATE: I spoke with Farrell by phone briefly this afternoon and asked him a few questions:

Did he think winning journalism's most prestigious award would change his life?

In what way he asked?

Well, I responded, maybe you'll be asked to speak to different groups.

Farrell responded that would only happen once. "After they hear me speak, I won't be asked to return," he said with a chuckle. Farrell also allowed that he doesn't have a "huge ego."

Today's announcement wasn't a total surprise.

He'd been tipped he might win and said that his parents drove down from Orlando to join him in the newsroom when the 3pm announcement was made. Also with Farrell was his wife Jodi and their two daughters, Annie, 10 and Lucy 8.

I asked him if he thought today of Franz Samedi, the grief stricken father he'd photographed clutching the body of his dead daughter in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike.

"He's hard to forget," said Farrell. "Those images are seared into my memory."

And everyone else too, Pat.

At a few minutes past 3pm today, Miami Herald photographer Patrick Farrell's life changed forever.

That's when Farrell, 49, learned he'd won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News photography. The Pulitzer board's citation reads:
"Awarded to Patrick Farrell of The Miami Herald for his provocative, impeccably composed images of despair after Hurricane Ike and other lethal storms caused a humanitarian disaster in Haiti."
Farrell's Pulitzer is the 20th for the Herald since it was awarded its first Pulitzer in 1951, and the paper's fourth in this decade alone.

Miami Herald photographer Patrick Farrell

Farrell's Pulitzer entry contains images shot over the course of four reporting trips to Haiti following the devastating hurricanes that ravaged the island last year.

Luis Rios, the Herald's director of photography, says of Farrell's work:
''Patrick's photography is the most provocative and at times disturbing storytelling work that I have seen or edited."
Ironically, Rios's position as director of photography was eliminated in the last round of job cuts to sweep through the Herald.

And eight months ago I noted that Farrell's images were probably some of the most gripping and shocking ever published in the paper.

(Farrell's Haiti images can be seen here).

Back in September, Farrell called his wife from Haiti during a break and told her that the couple's two daughters weren't far from his mind as he worked.

I don't know Pat all that well, but I'm pretty sure he stopped for just a moment today to think about Frantz Samedi, (above) whose life also changed forever last September.

1 comment:

  1. It is really sad looking at the pictures taken in Haiti after the storm, but unfortunately the same scenario may happen again if the government & the people don't take steps to fight corruption. International organizations have donated millions of dollars to Haiti to improve the population's quality of life. However, most of the intended recipients don't "taste/feel" that money because it gets divided up at the executive level and doesn't trickle down. I can take for example, a big NGO like the International Child Care (ICC)/Grace Children's Hospital (GCH) that receives money and various materials from CDC (PEPFAR), Global Fund, CORDAID, USAID, Christopher Blinden Mission (CBM), CIDA, Haitian Timoun Foundation, ICC USA, ICC Canada, and various churches (especially Methodist) and personal donors to improve quality care and needs of the population, especially TB and HIV patients. However, the money and materials receive get distributed among families/friends and used for personal gain. All these can be proven, BUT YET NO ONE CARES TO DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT.


Feel free to comment on anything you read here.

All comments must first be approved. Spam and spam links will not be tolerated or approved.