London reporter Danica Kirka knew the upcoming 25th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death would be an intensive project requiring collaboration across multiple AP departments. She began planning months ahead, relying on her beat expertise and reaching out to news leaders across formats to make AP’s coverage stand out from typical anniversary fare.
Among the team's plans was a video of AP staffers talking through what it was like to cover Diana’s death and aftermath. Kirka and London video journalist Kwiyeon Ha tracked down a number of staffers who were there and recorded Zoom interviews with each; they also had an exclusive interview with the designer who worked with Diana on her wedding dress. London video planning editor Elida Ramadani contributed to the coverage.
From Paris, senior producer Jeffrey Schaeffer found the doctor who treated Diana at the site of the crash. Schaeffer had interviewed him several years ago and contacted him again, persuading him to revisit that traumatic night. The AP exclusive interview was conducted in a poignant spot: just in front of the flame monument to Diana, above the tunnel where she died. And Paris cameraman Nicolas Garriga re-created Diana’s journey, recording the drive through the tunnel with a GoPro, showing Diana’s image painted on the pillar where the vehicle carrying her crashed. That footage that was used in multiple packages.
Digital storytelling producer Nat Castañeda delivered a striking presentation for Kirka’s evocative mainbar, while audience engagement staffer Elise Ryan packaged the content for AP's social platforms, including a distinctive Instagram story incorporating the video interviews with AP staffers, footage from the 1997 aftermath and some of AP’s top photos.
The multiformat, multiday coverage resonated with AP customers and audiences, turning in high scores for reader engagement, and two of the stories — the mainbar and the AP Was There timeline — landed on multiple high-volume Diana search pages.