A Brazil-based team of video journalist Tatiana Pollastri, correspondent Almudena Calatrava, news director David Biller and photographer Andre Penner, and Buenos Aires video journalist Yesica Brumec, made AP the first media, international or domestic, to report on Brazilian women starting to travel to Argentina for now-legal abortions. They delivered this extremely sensitive and timely story in all formats.
From the outset, the complex story presented multiple obstacles: It involved coordination between Brazilian and Argentine teams to follow individuals crossing the border, and awareness of the shifting legal circumstances of the hot-button issues in both countries. The staffers held repeated in-house discussions and consultations to ensure that AP was presenting the story and its protagonists in a way that was fair, useful for clients, and — most importantly — minimized risks of our interviewees facing backlash.
The AP had unique access to a 20-year-old woman traveling to Argentina who agreed to show her masked face and be quoted by her first name. The AP had worked diligently to cultivate her trust and that of the nongovernmental agency assisting her, repeatedly answering their questions and addressing concerns without applying pressure.
Ultimately, both the woman and the agency were assured that the story would be handled with the utmost care and compassion, and were comfortable with the result: The package offered a uniquely intimate perspective into this highly controversial issue that disproportinately affects women from socially disadvantaged backgrounds.