Two of 2013 Pulitzer Prize Winners Rodrigo Abd and Javier Manzano at the Newseum.

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Last night, Newseum had 2 of the 2013 Pulitzer prize winners, Rodrigo Abd (center) and Javier Manzano (right), tell their stories of how they won the prize in their respective categories and about their experiences while reporting in Syria.

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Rodrigo found out that he won from his boss, while Javier found out from his roomate/Facebook.

Both of them said that while it is a great honor and an accomplishment, winning Pulitzer will not affect how they will continue to do their work despite increased attention. The best response to one audience question as how to take a winning photograph- no one really knows whether they would win or not, and this award is probably the last thing on your mind when you take photographs. It’s kind of like winning a lottery, but through hard work and dedication to what you do.

Their stories about Syria were similar and such experiences always take a toll on someone who depicts them. Opening the world’s eyes to brutal reality, while an extremely noble cause, is also a heavy burden since the journalist has to partially live through the stories that they cover and through experiences of everyone around them all at once. Taking certain photos, such as inside hospitals or during funerals, isn’t the easiest thing to do either since you’re living through others’ tragedies then and there with them.

The whole event was excellent, and was covered by several media as well as recorded live.

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Javier telling some of his stories about Syria.

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Rodrigo taking a shot of the audience while Javier sips a coffee at the very end.

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One of Rodrigo’s shots that is already featured in Newseum’s Pulitzer exhibit.

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