U.S. Desk editor Jeff McMillan and Tennessee statehouse reporter Kim Kruesi set AP up to not just document the first state to enact drag restrictions this year but to deliver a comprehensive look at the effects.
With Tennessee poised to become the first state to restrict drag performances in a year when anti-LGBTQ legislation is consuming many statehouses, McMillan and Kruesi set out not just to document the important development but to deliver a comprehensive look at the anticipated cultural reverberations.
Working closely with State Government News Editor Julie Wright and Midsouth Assistant News Director Jonathan Drew, Kruesi kept atop preparation and timing at the state capitol while McMillan reported out detailed concerns that Tennessee’s legislation, billed as restricting drag performances seen by minors, could effectively cancel or curtail public LGBTQ celebrations such as Pride parades and other events. McMillan turned around his reporting and Kruesi’s prep for a comprehensive and immediately successful cultural story early in the day. AP’s story was by far the most complete and insightful of any day-of coverage and was used by many other national outlets.