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Best Photojournalist 

Charlie Riedel
Associated Press

Nobody likes to work a double shift. But we're grateful that Associated Press photographer Charlie Riedel was willing to put in the extra effort on May 22, the day an EF5 tornado destroyed about a third of Joplin. Riedel had spent the afternoon shooting a 10-inning Royals game. Just as he was wrapping up his work, he got a call saying that Joplin — 150 miles from Kansas City — had been demolished by the tornado. He got into his car and drove. By the time Riedel arrived in Joplin, it was mostly dark. Riedel used what was available — headlights or a flash of lightning — to capture what an AP editor later described as "a series of dramatic and eerie images." Riedel found a weak Wi-Fi connection and managed to transmit his images in time to appear on the front pages of newspapers around the country. His work in unfathomable conditions gave us a striking look at the devastation.

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