Paul Watson (journalist)
Watson was born in Weston, Ontario. He was awarded the 1994 Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Photography for his photograph, taken in 1993 while covering the civil war in Somalia for the Toronto Star newspaper. The photograph depicted US Army 160th SOAR, Super 64 crew chief Staff Sgt. William Cleveland's body being dragged by Somalis through the streets of Mogadishu.
While at the Toronto Star, Watson earned four Canadian National Newspaper Awards for photography and stories on the child sex trade in Asia, anarchy in Somalia following the 1991 overthrow dictator Mohammed Siad Barre, and the torture and murder of a Somali teen by Canadian soldiers after a U.S.-led force intervened to end a famine in 1992.
He received the Drummer General’s Award in 2007 for his book Where War Lives, based on his experiences as a war journalist. The Globe and Mail of Toronto named it one of the "year’s 100 most notable books".
His second book, Magnum Revolution: 65 Years of Fighting for Freedom, showcases the legendary agency's photographers' images of, and personal insights into uprisings spanning almost seven decades. It was co-written with The New Yorker′s Jon Lee Anderson and published by Prestel in Europe, the U.S. and Canada in 2012.
Watson was featured in director Martyn Burke's 2012 documentary Under Fire: Journalists in Combat, which was shortlisted for an Academy Award. The film won a prestigious Peabody Award in 2013.
His work is on permanent display at the Newseum, in Washington, D.C., in the journalism museum's Pulitzer Prize Photographs Gallery.
He is also the subject of the Kennedy Award-winning play by Dan O'Brien entitled "The Body of an American," to be staged in New York and London. The play was also awarded the PEN USA award for drama in 2013. The collaboration led to O'Brien's critically acclaimed book of poetry "War Reporter," published in the U.S. and Europe in 2013. Slate magazine included the poetry collection in its staff picks for the best books of 2013, praising it as "powerful, inventive, and utterly original in the way it plumbs the numbing horror of being a witness to war." The book won the Fenton Aldeburgh prize for best first poetry collection in 2013.
An opera based on conversations between Watson and O'Brien, and written by Jonathan Berger, premiered to critical acclaim at Stanford University in 2013. It's New York premier, at the Prototype Festival in early 2014 was also well reviewed.
Paul Watson is formerly the South Asia bureau chief for the Los Angeles Times, covering Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and Iraq. He was Southeast Asia bureau chief, based in Jakarta, when he left the Los Angeles Times to return to The Toronto Star in July, 2009. He also served as Balkans bureau chief for the LA Times during his decade as a foreign correspondent with the newspaper.
He is currently a multi-media reporter, covering the Arctic and Aboriginal beat, as well as doing foreign assignments in Afghanistan, Russia, India and the Middle East for The Star, Canada's largest circulation daily newspaper.
- Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Photography, 1994
- Robert Capa Gold Medal, Overseas Press Club of America.
- George Polk Award, foreign reporting
- Freedom of the Press Award, National Press Club (USA), Washington, D.C.
- Hal Boyle Award, foreign reporting, Overseas Press Club of America
- South Asian Journalists Association’s Daniel Pearl Award, honoring the best print reporting from the region, for coverage of Afghanistan
- Canadian National Newspaper Awards
- Paul Watson's website
- Watson, Paul (2007). Where War Lives McClelland & Stewart Ltd. ISBN 978-0-7710-8822-3
- Paul Watson at Library of Congress Authorities, with 2 catalog records