According to World Press Photo, the jury considers a visual document for a Special Mention "when it has played an essential role in the news reporting of the year worldwide and could not have been made by a professional photographer."
This year, the judges selected a still image taken from a video shot in Sirte, Libya, on 20 October 2011, minutes after Muammar Gaddafi was captured by the Libyan National Transition Council. It shows the bloodied dictator being dragged onto a truck minutes before his death.
"The photo captures an historic moment, an image of a dictator and his demise that we otherwise would not have seen, had it not been photographed by a member of the public," says Aidan Sullivan, the chair of the World Press Photo jury. "There were no professional photographers there, and this photo had an impact. It had news value," he tells BJP.
Nina Berman, a Noor photographer and member of this year's jury, adds: "There was a very strong point mentioned by a jury member during the judging process. He was saying that if we awarded anything from the public that it should be for a picture taken recently in Syria, because this is the one place where it's really hard to get pictures by professionals. But in the end it was this Gaddafi picture that came out on top, because it really is a unique moment in history - a moment when a dictator was mobbed physically by the people. That's why we chose it."
"This was an important document for posterity, for transparency, and to understand the dynamics of how Gaddafi came to his end," says jury member Renata Ferri in a statement.
For more coverage of the World Press Photo's results, check www.bjp-online.com/tag/world-press-photo.
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