Best of the Week
Two AP exclusives: China’s forced labor and US detention of migrant youths
Welcome to the first Best of the Week of 2019. Among a series of very strong end-of-the-year nominations, the judges have selected two winners from opposite sides of the world.
A sweeping AP investigation by California-based investigative reporters Garance “Poppy” Burke and Martha Mendoza found that the U.S. is once again institutionalizing thousands of migrant children in crowded shelters, despite warnings that the experience could lead to lifelong trauma. Their national story, complemented with a comprehensive data package by Washington-based data editor Meghan Hoyer and NY-based data journalist Larry Fenn, was the first to provide shelter-by-shelter detention statistics, numbers the government had been withholding all year.
Our other winner comes from an equally impactful AP investigation by Beijing-based video journalist Dake Kang, newsperson Yanan Wang and Mendoza, again, which showed that clothing made inside a Chinese internment camp housing Muslim Uighurs is being shipped to a U.S. company that supplies sportswear to American schools and universities.
To do this, they cross-referenced satellite imagery, Chinese state media reports and the address of a Chinese supplier on bills of lading destined for Badger Sportswear in North Carolina. Kang then travelled to Kazakhstan to get multiple on-camera accounts of forced labor in the Chinese camps.
For enterprising, important work, the team of Burke, Mendoza, Hoyer and Fenn, and the team of Kang, Wang and Mendoza share AP’s Best of the Week.