Carolyn Cole of the Los Angeles Times has been awarded the Robert Capa Gold Medal Award for photography by the Overseas Press Club of America for the second year in a row for her essay, Covering Conflict: Iraq and Liberia.
Alex Majoli of Magnum Photos was awarded the Feature Photography Award for the "best feature photography published in any medium on an international theme," for his portfolio, Wars Without End: The Congo, which was published by Newsweek.
Chris Hondros of Getty Images was awarded the John Faber Award for the "best photographic reporting from abroad in newspapers and wire services" for his essay, Chaos Enveloping: Liberia's Deadly Summer.
Li Zhensheng and Robert Pledge of Contact Press Images were awarded the Olivier Rebbot Award, which is for the "best photographic reporting from abroad in magazines and books," for the book Red-Color News Soldier: A Chinese Photographer's Odyssey Through The Cultural Revolution.
The prestigious Capa award is for the "best published photographic reporting from abroad, requiring exceptional courage and enterprise." Cole was recognized for her coverage of the siege of Monrovia, Liberia, and the battle between government troops and rebels for control of the city, including the story of a Liberian woman who cared for 75 orphans who lost their parents in the civil war. Her portfolio also included photographs of the effects of war on a family in Iraq.
Judges said Cole's images about the human tragedy of war are "heart wrenching, visceral and horrific." Citations in the Capa Award category were given to Christopher Anderson of the agency VII for The Road To Baghdad, published by U.S. News and World Report, and to Gary Knight of the agency VII for The Battle For Diyala Bridge, published by Newsweek.
So far this year Cole has been recognized for her photojournalism with nearly every top honor in the profession: the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography; the National Press Photographers Association's Newspaper Photographer of the Year award in the 2004 Best of Photojournalism contest; the Newspaper Photographer of the Year award in the Missouri School of Journalism's 61st Annual Pictures of the Year International contest; and in the World Press Photo competition, second and third places in the "People In The News" category for her essays from Iraq and Liberia. Majoli was also honored earlier this year by the NPPA in the 2004 Best of Photojournalism contest when he was named Magazine Photographer of the Year.
In recognizing Red-Color News Soldier, the judges said "This extraordinary visual record of the Cultural Revolution was photographed and preserved at great personal risk to the photographer. The book is an invaluable historical document that vividly details the chilling events of those tumultuous years."
About Majoli's Feature Award winning essay, the judges said, "These beautifully composed black and white pictures of the strife in the Congo are a poignant and powerful reminder that we must not forget the terrible human toll resulting from the manmade civil wars that are ravaging so many African nations."
A citation of honor was given to the photographers of The New York Times in the John Faber Award category for their collected images, The War In Iraq.
The Overseas Press Club of America was founded in 1939 in New York City by foreign correspondents who wanted to encourage and recognize the highest standards of professional integrity and skill in reporting international news and to maintain an international association of journalists who work in the States and abroad. This year the OPC honored journalists in 21 award categories, including writers, photographers, and producers in both print and broadcast journalism, during a dinner April 21 in New York, which was hosted by Charlie Rose of PBS.