Best of the AP

Best of the Week - First Winner Sept. 22, 2023

AP’s team reporting alerts the world to Libya’s disastrous floods


Years of reporting on Libya from afar and a local freelancer’s willingness to travel treacherous roads allowed AP’s team to alert the world about a disaster of massive proportions, after heavy floods burst two dams above the city of Derna, washing away and killing thousands.

It took nearly 24 hours for news to emerge from Libya of the deadly floods. But with the country divided between rival governments with spotty records for accuracy, it was tricky to grasp the extent of the devastation.

When one of the governments reported more than 2,000 dead and counting, Libya video producer Adel Omran was the first to alert the team, after which Cairo reporter Samy Magdy called contacts in the health care and aid community, who confirmed that toll and said it was likely to rise.

Misrata-based freelance photographer Yousef Murad drove hours to the scene, sending an initial dispatch showing mass burials for the rising number of bodies. On the ground, Murad faced difficult conditions and lack of basic amenities as the stench of death overtook the city. His subsequent stories documented the immense recovery effort and the stories of survivors.

For their harrowing work revealing a complex story of disaster and recovery, Magdy, Murad and Omran are this week’s Best of the Week — First Winner.

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Best of the Week - Second Winner Sept. 22, 2023

AP gets exclusive images of Kim Jong Un’s train at border between Russia and North Korea


For the hours that went by while the world was guessing whether, when and how North Korean leader Kim Jong Un would travel to Russia, AP had exclusive images of Kim’s signature green train at the border between North Korea and Russia, offering strong indication his travels to Russia would be imminent.

It was a long shot to begin with, given the secrecy surrounding Kim’s travel plans. Reporter Dake Kang and photographer Han Guan Ng spent two days staking out a location in China where the sole bridge connecting North Korea and Russia is visible.

By around 8:00 Greenwich Mean Time, Sept. 11, South Korean media began reporting Kim’s train had “departed” for North Korea. Kim’s location, however, was unclear. As conflicting reports over when and whether Kim had departed, the AP crew had already seen Kim’s train approaching the bridge and reversing course back to the station. Kim Tong-hyung in Seoul kept the team informed of developments amid conflicting reports and updated the text story with what the crew saw.

The train never crossed the bridge that day, but the first AP pictures moved at 12:00 GMT. AP’s images offered the first visual indication that Kim would be traveling by train and that he was possibly already at the Russian border.

For exclusive images that were used around the world, Kang and Ng win this week’s Best of the Week — Second Winner.

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