Best of the AP

Best of the Week - First Winner Nov. 26, 2021

Enterprising AP coverage of Rittenhouse trial reaches far beyond the courtroom testimony

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AP’s team coverage led the pack for the three-week Kyle Rittenhouse trial — including word of Rittenhouse’s full acquittal in the killing of two protesters and wounding of a third in Kenosha, Wisconsin — thanks to smart, detailed planning and deep knowledge cultivated throughout the proceedings.

The foundation of the coverage was the daily testimony, but following a blueprint laid down during earlier coverage of the Derek Chauvin trial in Minneapolis, it was the spinoff coverage, starting weeks ahead of the trial and carrying through after the verdict, that was key. A multiformat team of journalists delivered more than a dozen AP Explainers, enterprise pieces and video debriefings that went deeper into what was happening in court — and in some cases anticipated developments in the case.

The expansive team coverage figured prominently among AP’s top stories throughout the trial. AP’s explainer on the charges against the teenager remained at the top of Google’s “Rittenhouse” search results, placement that drove some 3.5 million pageviews on AP News before and after the verdict.

For comprehensive, speedy and illuminating coverage of a trial that riveted the country, the Kyle Rittenhouse trial team earns AP’s Best of the Week — First Winner.

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Best of the Week - Second Winner Nov. 26, 2021

AP investigation reveals white supremacists working in Florida prisons, race-based abuse of inmates

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After breaking news earlier this year with the story of a failed murder plot against a Black inmate by Ku Klux Klansmen who worked as guards in Florida’s state prison system, AP investigative reporter Jason Dearen kept digging to reveal systemic race-based abuse of inmates in the nation’s third largest prison system.

Building sources and following tips he received from a former prison investigator, former guards, inmates and their families, Dearen chronicled accounts of abuse and exposed the correctional department’s failure to hold prison employees accountable. The former investigator described a situation inside the prisons of “criminals watching over criminals” — the rogue employees operating with virtual impunity.

The piece played well online and appeared on the front pages of all of Florida's major newspapers.

For dedicated reporting on white supremacy embedded among prison employees, a festering problem that is likely not confined to Florida’s state prisons, Dearen earns AP’s Best of the Week — Second Winner honors.

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