‘Disgusting,’ House Whip Says Of University Of Missouri Award For Photo Of Hamas Brutality

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The University of Missouri and its Reynolds Journalism Institute are receiving widespread criticism for a first-place prize it awarded in the Pictures of the Year to the Associated Press, in part for a photo showing the body of 22-year-old, German-Israeli artist Shani Louk.

“RJI thinks a horrifying photo of Shani Louk’s half-clothed, dead body is award-winning work,” wrote Tom Emmer, the majority whip of the U.S. House of Representatives. “Disgusting.”

“This photo captures Hamas terrorists desecrating the body of Shani Louk, may her soul rest in peace,” wrote Danny Danon, a member of the Knesset. “Yet the AP news agency proudly received an award for it. Their continued pride in their photographers’ ‘work’ and involvement in the atrocities is shameful.”

The Pictures of the Year site also lists the Tokyo-based company Nikon as a “proud” sponsor.

In a caption accompanying the photo by Ali Mahmud, an AP freelancer whose actions on Oct. 7 have raised ethical concerns, the public Missouri university noted that “militant Hamas rulers of the Gaza Strip carried out an unprecedented, multi-front attack on Israel at daybreak Saturday, Oct. 7, 2023.”

“Israel’s retaliation after Gaza’s militant Hamas rulers launched the unprecedented attack on Israel killing over 1,200 Israelis and taking captive dozens, has been fierce for Gaza and it’s [sic] people,” it added. “Heavy Israeli airstrikes on the enclave has killed thousands of Palestinians. Palestinian militants drive back to the Gaza Strip with the body of Shani Louk, a German-Israeli dual citizen, during their cross-border attack on Israel, Saturday, Oct. 7, 2023.”

“We are disgusted and shocked that a picture depicting Hamas terrorists with the half-naked corpse of German-Israeli Shani Louk has been awarded Team Picture Story of the Year by the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute at the Missouri School of Journalism,” stated the European Jewish Congress.

“It’s not only disrespectful to the family of Louk but to the over 1,200 people who were brutally murdered by Hamas on Oct. 7,” it added. “We demand the Associated Press inform how and why their journalists were documenting the crimes Hamas committed that infamous day, and how they managed to arrive so quickly at the scene of the crime.”

“This year and every year, the photos in the competition are selected by a panel of professional journalists tasked with identifying compelling representations of the significant news events of the year,” stated Lynden Steele, director of the photo contest.

“While we understand the reactions to the pictures,” Steele added, “we also believe that photojournalism plays an important role in bringing attention to the harsh realities of war.”


  1. “Harsh realities of war..

    There was no war when that photo took place. all there was was a terrorist attack that devastated communities


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