A citizen video that captured the death of 26-year-old Neda Agha-Soltan during the 2009 Iranian election protests has won a prestigious George Polk Award for Journalism.
It is the first winner in a new category for videography created by Long Island University, which bestows 13 George Polk Awards annually.
Shot by anonymous citizens and posted on the internet, it was sent to media outlets, allowing the world to witness the shooting death of the young woman amid protests against the election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
The judging panel acknowledged the courage of the videographers, whose work became a rallying point for opposition to the Iranian government. It is the first time the award has been given to work produced anonymously.
"This award celebrates the fact that, in today's world, a brave bystander with a cellphone camera can use video-sharing and social networking sites to deliver news," said John Darnton, curator of the George Polk Awards.
The award also highlights how news organizations, including the CBC, are integrating user-created content into their reporting.
The George Polk Award for foreign reporting went to a first-person account titled "Held by the Taliban" by New York Times correspondent David Rohde. The series detailed his seven-month ordeal as a prisoner of the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan and his daring escape.
Other winners announced Tuesday:
- National reporting: A group of Bloomberg News reporters for a series of stories that demanded accountability over bank bailouts.
- State reporting: Raquel Rutledge of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, for coverage of Wisconsin's broken child-care program.
- Local reporting: George Pawlaczyk and Beth Hundsdorfer of the Belleville, Ill., News-Democrat, for a gripping series about harsh conditions inside an Illinois "supermax" prison.
- Sports reporting: Alan Schwarz of The New York Times for his influential report on the long-term dangers of concussions.
- International television reporting: CNN correspondent Dan Rivers and his producers for a story on Rohingya refugees in southeast Asia.
- National television reporting: Steve Kroft for a 60 Minutes segment that detailed Wall Street's growing influence on oil prices.
- Business reporting: Kathy Chu of USA Today for coverage that documented how banks and credit unions have applied steep fees and unscrupulous credit card practices to their customers.
- Military reporting: Stars and Stripes reporters for a series that showed how the Pentagon had used a public relations company to affect media coverage of the war in Afghanistan.
- Magazine reporting: David Grann of The New Yorker, for a story that documented a case of the execution of an innocent man by the U.S. justice system.
- Environmental reporting: Abrahm Lustgarten of ProPublica, for documenting the deadly side effects of hydraulic fracturing, a natural gas-drilling process involving water.
The awards will be presented April 8 in New York.