This posting addresses the Pulitzer Prize  winning series that won a Pulitzer Prize for breaking news in 2022. This commentary is in the spirit of an open discussion of values and comparisons.

I chose the posed image of the two reporters beaten for filming a rally in support of women’s rights in Afghanistan.

The image shown above is what I chose from the series.  And the photo caption included above is what was officially selected to represent the explanation of the image.


The Pulitzer Prize web platform provides information about the photographer chosen by the Pulitzer Prize judges.


I chose the image of the reporters shown above because of the documentary representation of a staged photo and the related subject matter. I note that women’s rights are not considered a priority in the United States. They aren’t in Afghanistan either.

This year, 2023, is the 100th year of US women working nonviolently for an equal rights amendment to the US Constitution.

The other images in the Pulitzer photo series constitute an excellent representation of the human impact of the US military involvement in Afghanistan and the Taliban assuming control of the nation again after the US pulled out its troops.

This representation is predictable and most likely true as far as the situation at the conclusion of the US military presence in Afghanistan is concerned.


It reminds me, however, of not being taken seriously when I was a reporter and photographer for an independent newspaper, and a woman. 

The photo highlights what happens when a large nation such as the United States is involved militarily in another nation over a significant amount of time, in particular, decades. So-called innocent and guilty individuals and their families feel the impact. The justifications for questionable behavior on both sides is open for comment. This series of images emphasizes, in my opinion, one point of view.


It is because of collections of images like this that I have chosen not to submit to most contests and news competitions. Almost all of the winners represent large corporate news organizations with predictable positions and points of view. Because of this bias, the breaking news of independent and special interest smaller publications generally don’t stand a chance.

And really…are the Taiban zealots much different from the patriarchal expressions of numerous US officials? Perhaps they aren’t as crude overall, but let’s delve further into the matter. Aren’t friends and relatives also capable of prejudice and discrimination? While I think it’s terrific that the photographer here has won a Pulitzer Prize for his efforts, I find the pain and trauma expressed is part of a large and complex situation impacting even nations that call themselves democratic. 

So images like these are almost predictable platitudes. They are excellent in documenting aspects of the human costs. They are an important addition to the archive of what happened when the US pulled out its troops in 2022. It is clearly spot news. But by no means are these images an unbiased representation of the so-called “bad guys” of the Taliban versus the “good guys” representing the US.


I find myself annoyed and worse when confronting evidence that the Taliban is prejudiced, as are many of their brothers throughout the world, including in the US.

And Taliban officials are also violent and intolerant of those who disagree. How many US citizens are there with broken teeth and scars from being beaten by police officers? How many US women have been marginalized and made invisible because of their points of view? Is name calling and character assassination better or worse than brutal beatings? Where do we draw the line? 

This situation in Afghanistan reflects political and violent military engagement in a war. Violent acts and justifications are present on both sides. The possibility of nonviolent change was eliminated long long ago in this situation.

And I find also that many independent reporters and writers don’t stand a chance when they write for and compete with mainstream US newspapers that don’t endorse the assumption that the US is also engaging in slanted news coverage.


Objectivity is supposed to be a value applied to all situations. And posed news coverage is common in the US and elsewhere when otherwise it might be considered unethical.

I think it’s terrific that diversity is being respected in the awarding of prizes. And who stands to benefit? That’s another discussion entirely.

Suffrage Wagon News Channel has been publishing since 2009.