AN Edinburgh University graduate has won the prestigious 2014 Pulitzer Prize for journalism.
Andrew Marshall, a reporter for Reuters international news agency, has been honoured with the $10,000 (£5800) prize for his reporting on international affairs.
The accolade has been awarded to Marshall and his Reuters colleague Jason Szep for their “courageous” investigation into the violent persecution and human trafficking of the Rohingya Muslim minority in Burma, south-east Asia.
Mr Marshall was born in England and moved to Scotland at the age of four. He grew up in Aberdeenshire.
He graduated from the University of Edinburgh with an MA in English literature in 1989 and got his first big break in journalism at The Scotsman newspaper, where he produced the inaugural student supplement.
Marshall’s investigative journalism for Time magazine during the mid-1990s, when Burma’s military dictatorship was at its height, eventually led to his deportation and blacklisting by Burma’s special branch police.
Although his work takes him all over the world, most of Marshall’s family still live in Scotland and he returns to Edinburgh – which he describes as the first city he ever loved – at least once a year.
He joined London-based news agency Reuters in January 2012 as special correspondent for Thailand and Indochina.
Despite the fall of Burma’s military dictatorship there had been recent spasms of violence against Rohingya Muslims, identified by the United Nations as one of the most persecuted minorities in the world.
Sensing that the plight of the Rohingya would become a huge humanitarian issue, Mr Marshall and Mr Szep began a two-year investigation which has won them the coveted Pulitzer Prize.
Through their journalism the pair sought to expose the plight of Rohingya who fall prey to Thai human traffickers when attempting to flee the apartheid-like conditions in Burma.
Reuters editor-in-chief Stephen Adler praised the pair’s achievements.
He said: “For two years these Reuters reporters tirelessly investigated terrible human-rights abuses in a forgotten corner of the Muslim world, bringing the condition of the Rohingya to global attention.”
Commenting upon his Pulitzer win, Mr Marshall said: “It would be wrong for me to say that it’s a dream come true to win a Pulitzer, because I never actually thought I’d ever win one.
“It’s thrilling on many levels – personally, of course, but also because it’s a recognition that long investigations into faraway peoples are worth doing and worth reading about.
“The Burmese government recently instructed foreign aid agencies to leave Myanmar [Burma], which threatens to worsen what is already a grave humanitarian crisis. People are dying there right now.”