Los Angeles Instances international correspondent and photojournalist Marcus Yam was awarded the 2022 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking Information Images on Monday for his compelling protection of the autumn of Afghanistan to the Taliban. It’s outstanding that he gained journalism’s highest honor in his first yr as a international correspondent. This Pulitzer is the end result of all the good work Yam has produced over the past seven years on the Los Angeles Instances.
When the U.S. introduced that it will pull American troops out of Afghanistan, Yam believed this is able to not finish nicely and he wanted to be on the bottom overlaying it from starting to finish. We, in fact, agreed as a result of we trusted him and we knew he would produce stellar work.
He arrived Aug. 14, 2021; the next day, Afghanistan fell to the Taliban inside hours, a lot to the shock of the world. However not for Yam, who not solely suspected this might need occurred however was already considering of what would come subsequent — the tales of the Afghan individuals affected by this takeover.
For the following two months, Yam courageously and relentlessly pursued various human curiosity tales at the same time as different Western information organizations exited the nation resulting from safety points. This was maybe the toughest and most disturbing time for me as a director of images. I fearful about his security day by day, as I’m certain many people within the newsroom did as nicely. When he was roughed up by the Taliban whereas overlaying a nationwide flag rally, a number of editors insisted that I get him out instantly for his personal security.
Every time I spoke to Yam about leaving, he’d at all times remind me this was an essential story that wanted to be instructed. He would guarantee me that he had two exit plans each day and that he was protected. In the end, after some backwards and forwards, he would persuade me to let him keep and maintain reporting. I’ve a deep respect and admiration for him, his work ethic, braveness and stoicism amid the risks and restrictions he confronted on the time. Not solely is it a testomony to the good photojournalist he’s however how fortunate we’re to have him right here on the L.A. Instances.
Regardless that this award is for his images, what was equally as spectacular was his skill to navigate the unknown. Yam turns into the sixth Los Angeles Instances journalist to win a Pulitzer for the images classes. He’s additionally the primary Malaysian-born journalist to ever win a Pulitzer for images.