May 7, 2024 - News

Tennessean photographer named a Pulitzer Prize finalist

A child weeping on a bus.

A photo by Tennessean photographer Nicole S. Hester that shows a child weeping on a bus leaving The Covenant School. Photo: Nicole S. Hester/courtesy of the Tennessean

Tennessean photographer Nicole S. Hester was named as a finalist Monday for the 2024 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news photography.

Hester's photo shows a child weeping on a bus in the aftermath of The Covenant School shooting that killed three students and three school employees on March 27, 2023.

  • Surviving students were bussed to a nearby church to be reunited with their families.

What they're saying: ​​"This was an unspeakable tragedy for our community and continues to pierce our hearts and devastate so many of our neighbors," Michael A. Anastasi, vice president and editor of the Tennessean, said of the shooting.

  • "As journalists, it is our responsibility, our sacred duty really, to ensure our community, and in this case the nation, knows and understands what happened here."

Zoom in: Hester told the Tennessean that she felt the image encapsulated the horror of that day.

  • "The anguish on that little girl's face is the anguish that all of us feel and continue to feel," Hester said. "It is a hard image. It should be a hard image because it's a hard reality. So don't look away."
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