WASHINGTON (AP) -- A women's media group will honor freelance photographer Heidi Levine as the inaugural winner of an award for courage named for Associated Press photographer Anja Niedringhaus, who was killed on assignment in Afghanistan.
The International Women's Media Foundation in Washington announced Tuesday that Levine will be awarded the Anja Niedringhaus Courage in Photojournalism Award. Levine is an American and is based in Jerusalem.
The award jury, which includes accomplished photographers and photo editors, said Levine stands out for her courage and compassion in capturing images in the Middle East.
"Her courage and commitment to the story in Gaza is unwavering," the jury wrote. "She documents tragic events under dire circumstances while displaying a depth of compassion for the people she encounters."
The award will be presented to Levine at a ceremony June 25 in Berlin. The Howard G. Buffett Foundation provided funding for the $20,000 prize.
Levine is originally from Boston and moved to Israel in 1983. She began her career with the AP and is now represented by the Sipa Press photo agency. Her photographs have appeared in publications around the world, often as cover stores. Levine has made a career of working in conflict and post-conflict areas, according to the media foundation. She has covered the revolutions in Egypt, Libya and Syria, and the stories of Iraqi refugees living in Jordan, Syria and Sweden. She has also worked in Afghanistan, Georgia and India.
Two additional photojournalists received an honorable mention from the jury. Photographer Anastasia Vlasova was recognized for her courage and dedication in covering the conflicts in Eastern Ukraine. Associated Press photographer Rebecca Blackwell also was recognized for her courage in working under difficult conditions in the Central African Republic.
The prize will be awarded annually to a woman photojournalist who reflects the courage and dedication of Niedringhaus.
Niedringhaus started her career as a freelance photographer when she was 16 in her native Germany and went on to cover the conflict in the former Yugoslavia. She joined the AP in 2002 and worked throughout the Middle East, as well as in Afghanistan and Pakistan. She was part of an AP team that won the 2005 Pulitzer Price for Breaking News Photography for coverage of Iraq.
Niedringhaus was killed in April 2014 when an Afghan police commander walked up to the car she was in and opened fire.