Kathy Gannon | 2002 Courage in Journalism Award

The Associated Press, Canada.

Gannon was one of the few international journalists in the Afghan capital when terrorists attacked the United States, and she moved quickly to cover the world around her as it erupted into war. She was expelled from Afghanistan, but managed to return twice after the American bombing campaign started. At one point she was the only Western reporter in Kabul.

Gannon’s years of steady reporting on the region and her wide network of sources paid off in understanding that shone through in her steady stream of stories. Gannon was inexhaustible as she courageously reported what she saw around her.

Working amid falling bombs in Kabul, writing her stories by lantern light, she recounted battles, explained the intricacies of Afghan politics and described the plight of ordinary Afghan people in clear, compelling prose. Bombs did not daunt her. Roadblocks of armed Taliban, who eyed her suspiciously because she was foreign and, even worse, a foreign woman, did not stop her.

In 2012, Gannon and her AP colleague Anja Niedringhaus set out together to document the war in Afghanistan from a different perspective – a perspective that would would lead them into the mountains of Eastern Afghanistan. Arranged by the Afghan Ministry of Defense, Niedringhaus and Gannon became the first foreign journalists to embed with the Afghan National Army.
After they returned, the two Courage Award winners shared their experiences and explained what compels them to continue their dangerous work in this exclusive interview with the IWMF.

In April 2014, Gannon suffered three gunshot wounds in the attack that killed her colleague Anja Niedringhaus in the eastern city of Khost, Afghanistan.

Kathy Gannon is the second Courage in Journalism Award winner from Canada, following Kim Bolan (1999).

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Kim Bolan, Canada | 1999 Courage in Journalism Award