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NPR Establishes Fund in Slain Photojournalists’ Honor

Grant from CPB provides foundation

David Gilkey and Zabihullah Tamanna. Photo by Monika Evstatieva, NPR

While at the annual Public Radio Program Directors Association conference, NPR President and CEO Jarl Mohn announced the creation of a fund honoring David Gilkey and Zabihullah Tamanna, NPR journalists who were killed in June while on assignment in Afghanistan.

To be called the David Gilkey and Zabihullah Tamanna Memorial Fund for International Coverage and Photojournalism, its financial resources will underwrite equipment, training and support for international coverage and video journalism done for NPR. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting has given the fund an inaugural gift of $400,000. 

Gilkey joined NPR in 2007 as a photojournalist and reported extensively from danger zones in Afghanistan, Iraq, Rwanda, and Somalia. He received the Edward R. Murrow Award from CPB in 2015 for his outstanding contributions to public radio, the first multimedia journalist to receive the CPB award.

Tamanna was an Afghani free-lance journalist for numerous organizations like NPR and China’s Xinhua News Agency. NPR says he excelled at crucial behind-the-scenes work for their network.

“Reporting on global events is a difficult and often dangerous undertaking — a truth both David and Zabi knew well. Their lives, their work and their commitment to follow a story in a place where few others were willing to go also reminds us of NPR’s mission to provide in-depth and comprehensive storytelling, wherever that story may be,” said Mohn.