Acclaimed AP photojournalist Anja Niedringhaus was killed and a reporter wounded while working in Eastern Afghanistan Friday, April 4.
I heard the news as I was leaving Notre Dame campus after an early morning football practice. As I arrived at a nearby coffee shop to set up a quick mobile office to edit photos I thought to myself, "and I complain about working under the strict guidelines of ND." I hope I will never have that thought pop into my head again.
I have always had a great respect for photographers who have over the years become known as "conflict photogs". My experience working for small daily papers is a literal world away from what conflict photogs experience. The dozen or so shooters who cover ND routinely lament and even gripe at the limitations imposed on us as we try to best cover Notre Dame. The frustration is a reality, but the cause of those frustrations is truly trite when compared to the life and death hardships other photographers working around the globe face.
Niedringhaus and an AP reporter were in Afghanistan working prior to the upcoming elections. Working to tell the stories of the Afghans who are living in a fast changing and thus tumultuous place. According to AP the German Niedringhaus and the reporter were approached by an Afghan police officer who opened fire on the car they were sitting in killing Niedringhaus instantly and wounding the reporter.
After completing my ND work I looked through images on the wire that AP had posted by Anja. I can't say I enjoyed looking through the images given the reason they were being sent on the wire, but her work was worth beholding. As you look through the images I hope you can feel the power of photojournalism and understand why it is so important.
The Guardian posted a gallery featuring more of her work.