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Home > Publications > Quill > Winner: The Associated Press


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Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Winner: The Associated Press

“Benazir Bhutto’s Assassination”

Jim Poyser

8:12 a.m. EDT

APNewsAlert

RAWALPINDI, Pakistan (AP) A party aid says Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was injured in a suicide attack and is now undergoing surgery.

8:29 a.m. EDT

APNewsAlert

FLASH

RAWALPINDI, Pakistan (AP) A party aid and a military official say Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto died following a suicide bombing.

8:32 a.m. EDT

BULLETIN

RAWALPINDI, Pakistan (AP) Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was assassinated Thursday in a suicide bombing that also killed at least 20 others at a campaign rally, a party aide and a military official said.

Managing Editor John Daniszewski said, “The Associated Press was first with the news flash that shocked people around the globe: Opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was dead. And AP’s reporting team in Pakistan led the way throughout with unrivaled coverage of a national tragedy.”

One of the AP team’s reporters, Sadaqat Jan, attended the former prime minister’s last campaign rally, phoning in his report just seconds after the explosion. According to Daniszewski, Jan also “produced a first-person account of hearing the gunshots and explosion of the suicide attack that felled Bhutto, then told of the heartrending scene — the bloodied pieces of clothes and shoes scattered on the road, the fury of Bhutto’s stunned followers.”

The AP team of reporters, in addition to Jan, also included Munir Ahmad, Zarar Khan, Matthew Pennington, Kathy Gannon and Ravi Nessman.

Said the judges: “This was breaking-news reporting at its finest: accurate, rapid-fire, resourceful and descriptive — all done in a chaotic, almost combat-like environment. The reporter at the scene was nearly close enough to the assassination to have been killed, but calmly dispatched highly descriptive witness accounts in nearly real time. Another reporter talked his way into the hospital and into an interview with one of the surgeons who desperately worked to save Bhutto.”

The judges added that AP’s coverage of this assassination was “a textbook example of spot-news reporting.”

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