How a Schwanenstadt native won the Pulitzer Prize this year

An Upper Austrian has been awarded the most prestigious journalism prize in the world: with a “Visual Investigation” team from the New York Times, the native of Schwanenstadt received the Pulitzer Prize in the category “International Reporting” at the beginning of May.

The 13-person team proved in several articles that the US military accidentally killed ten civilians in the Afghan capital Kabul in a drone attack in August 2021. “We spent two weeks researching what happened. actually happened at the time and we were able to prove that the Pentagon (US Department of Defense) version was wrong,” the 42-year-old said at the awards ceremony. Colleagues from around the world are said to have worked on the contributions, which the team then presented as a video: “With images as evidence.

Already honored with an “Emmy”.

Christoph Kttl works as a “visual investigative journalist” and is considered a specialist in the evaluation of satellite images. In September 2019, he had already received a prestigious award: together with the investigative team of the New York Times, he received an “Emmy” in 2019. The team had shown in a video that a poison gas attack in Syria, which had claimed 34 lives, had not been led by rebels, as the regime had claimed, but by the Syrian army.

Kttl has worked at The New York Times since 2017. After graduating from high school, he studied history and political science in Vienna, and in 2003 held a memorial service at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. He then studied at Johns Hopkins University in Washington and joined the human rights organization Amnesty International in 2007. There he spent ten years developing a program on “technology and human rights and continued his training to become an expert in the analysis of aerial photographs.

In an interview with ON last year, Kttl described his work at The New York Times as “investigative, but not traditional.” Most of the time, he does not work on a daily basis, but devotes himself to evaluating visual information such as photos, videos or aerial photographs during long sessions.

Mathew Baynton

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