Kathy Gannon, the Associated Press’s award-winning reporter in Afghanistan and now based in Pakistan, was honoured with a rare NNA Board of Governors’ Award at the NNA gala in the Canadian war museum in Ottawa on May 13, 2010.
Gannon, a Canadian who hails from Timmins, has worked for AP since 1988 in Pakistan and Afghanistan, a period that spans the mysterious death of Pakistan dictator Zia-ul Haq, the withdrawal of Russian soldiers from Afghanistan, and the bitter Afghan civil war between Islamic factions. She was in Kabul when the Taliban regime took power and was the only western journalist allowed to return to Kabul by the Taliban in the weeks before their collapse in November 2001.
She has received two AP Managing Editors awards for her coverage of two of the hottest spots on the planet – Pakistan and Afghanistan.
She has received two honourary doctorates from Laurentian University in Sudbury and Nipissing University in North Bay. Her career in journalism included a stint as city editor of the Kelowna Daily Courier.
Gannon now lives in Pakistan with her husband and stepdaughter.
The NNA Governors’ award contains the following inscription: “Kathy Gannon of the Associated Press has covered Afghanistan longer than any other Canadian journalist. For more than two decades, her dispatches have told the world about the Soviet intervention, a civil war, the rise of the Taliban and the ongoing campaign by NATO troops. Throughout it all, she never stopped telling the story of the people of Afghanistan. For her insight, courage and dedication, the National Newspaper Awards recognizes Kathy Gannon with its Governors’ Award.”
The award was presented by NNA Governors Margo Goodhand of the Winnipeg Free Press and Alain Guilbert of Ottawa.
In her book, “I Is For Infidel, From Holy War to Holy Terror. 18 years Inside Afghanistan,” she asserts, almost casually, that Osama bin Laden may well be under the protection of the Pakistani military. Her book was published in 2006, five years before the events that led to Osama bin Laden’s demise.