Tokyo staffers Mari Yamaguchi, reporter; Haruka Nuga, senior producer; and Eugene Hoshiko, chief photographer, scored reported beats thanks to careful planning and virus precautions both before and during a trip to Hiroshima for live coverage of the 75th anniversary of the first use of an atomic bomb in World War II.

Their efforts paid off with exclusives in all formats as they talked with survivors eager to tell their stories to a world that many feel is forgetting the events Aug. 9, 1945. One widely used piece told the story of a tram conductor who drove through Hiroshima as a girl, past huge piles of rubble and decomposing bodies just three days after the bomb exploded. Another profiled a Korean survivor who spoke of how he hid his role as a bomb survivor for decades.

The live coverage of the anniversary event was so fast that Hoshiko was able to push photos directly from his camera to the desk, allowing the photos to hit the wire within minutes of the ceremony’s start. The trio’s coverage made an impression, used by news outlets worldwide. Even major Japanese publications leaned heavily on AP’s coverage, sometimes over the work of their own journalists.

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The Atomic Bomb Dome is seen in dusk in Hiroshima, western Japan, Aug. 4, 2020. The building was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1996, in a call for a non-nuclear world and world peace.

AP Photo / Eugene Hoshiko