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Martin Adler 1958 - 2006

Our colleague Martin Adler was killed in Mogadishu on the 23rd of June 2006. He was filming a demonstration when a lone gunman came out of the crowd and shot him at close range. Martin was one of the longest serving members of Panos Pictures, and was a valued friend as well as an outstanding photographer and integral part of the agency.

His commitment to his work and to his subjects had often put him in great personal danger. Somalia, where he had travelled several times, was just one amongst dozens of conflict zones where Martin had worked. He photographed in over thirty countries, exposing poverty, human rights abuses and the fate of individuals in the midst of war and genocide. Martin was the most dedicated journalist we have known. His clarity of thought when analysing and telling a news story was second to none. Time and again he would travel far from the media spotlight, persuading magazines, newspapers and television stations that the unreported was indeed worth reporting on. His magnificent photographs were just one constituent of his prodigious output: he was equally skilled as a cameraman - filming, writing and editing reports for television.

In 2001 Martin won the Amnesty International Media Award for an undercover report on the kidnapping and forced marriage of women in China. He was awarded a prize for investigative journalism at the 2001 New York Film Festival, and in 2004 won the prestigious Rory Peck Award for a television report which exposed abuses by American troops in Iraq. The photograph above shows Martin in a relaxed moment, posing for a self-portrait alongside the Acehnese rebel fighters whom he had tracked down in the Sumatran jungle. It was Martin's kind of story - an obscure separatist war which nobody knew or cared much about, fought by a guerilla army which the Indonesian government claimed to have wiped out three years earlier. They were still there, and Martin found them. Six years later, when the tsunami briefly put Aceh on the map, he went back and found the rebels again, the first journalist they had seen in two years. We have gathered together a gallery of Martin's photographs which you can view by clicking on the image above.

In 2007, The Rory Peck Trust inaugurated The Martin Adler Prize, which honours a freelancer who has told, or played a vital part in the telling of a significant news story.
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