(New York) – To honor the life and work of the late Tim Hetherington, Human Rights Watch and World Press Photo have established an annual visual journalism award focusing on human rights, Human Rights Watch said today.

Hetherington, an award-winning photojournalist and filmmaker who produced unusually powerful human rights reportage throughout his career, was killed in the besieged city of Misrata on April 20, 2011, while covering the conflict in Libya. The celebrated photojournalist Chris Hondros was killed in the same attack.

“This award is a tribute to Tim Hetherington’s extraordinary talent for bringing human rights stories into vivid focus," said Carroll Bogert, deputy executive director for external relations at Human Rights Watch. “The best photojournalism changes the world. We hope this grant will help more photographers think of their work in those terms."

The annual grant of 20,000 euro seeks to reward a career history of documenting critical human rights stories and an ability to draw together diverse elements into a compelling multimedia feature.

After winning the 2007 World Press Photo of the Year for his image of an exhausted soldier, Hetherington said: “Underpinning my work is a concern with human rights and analyzing political ideas, with thinking about history and politics. It’s also about witnessing, about telling stories. Photography to me is a way of exploring the world, creating narratives, and communicating with as many people as possible… I am interested in working across a broad platform, in both screen based media and the print media.”

Human Rights Watch and World Press Photo have established the grant with the support of Hetherington’s parents, Alistair and Judith.

Human Rights Watch and World Press Photo will join a distinguished panel of judges to select the recipient of the first annual Tim Hetherington Grant in November, with the aim of allowing the winner to complete an existing project on a human rights theme. In reviewing the applications, the judges will look for the revolutionary qualities that defined Hetherington’s career: work that operates on multiple platforms and in a variety of formats; that crosses boundaries between breaking news and longer-term investigation; and that demonstrates a consistent moral commitment to the lives and stories of the photographic subjects.

“Tim told stories in a unique way, using images, sound, text, and testimony,” Bogert said. “We hope to honor his memory by encouraging others to innovate in the field of human rights communication."

The deadline for applications is October 15, 2011. More information about the application procedure, including application forms to download, is available at www.worldpressphoto.org/.