New York City reporter Bobby Caina Calvan was one of many reporters, photographers and video journalists assigned to stakeout duty as a Manhattan grand jury investigating former President Donald Trump continued its work in New York City. When signs were posted near the courthouse alerting people to an upcoming film shoot for “The Joker” sequel, the New York team was intrigued.
Hundreds of extras, joined by Lady Gaga, were on the courthouse steps on Saturday protesting for the film cameras — across the street from where New York officials had been preparing for actual protests that never materialized. Calvan was the lone AP newsperson on site, so he got out his iPhone and captured photos of the scene unfolding before him.
AP customers often say that they’d like to see lighter stories, and this story proved that point. It immediately took hold with customers and within the first three days of publication, garnered more than 1 million page views on AP platforms, becoming the most-read story in the last seven days. Four days after it published, it continued to be among the 10 most-read stories on AP platforms.
Calvan recognized a great story that competitors didn’t match until two days later, demonstrating his understanding that news doesn’t have to be major spot — but that our best stories can come from what, in New York City, is the everyday. One noteworthy thing that Calvan’s story captured: the potential to attract a wide variety of readers. Like many of AP’s best-performing stories, it was enticing to multiple audiences because it connected dots. Whether you were a fan of the Joker and Batman, someone following the Trump grand jury saga, a reader interested in how filming affects a neighborhood or someone interested in New York City, this story had something for you. That crossover-story mentality was crucial for bringing in readers.
For taking the everyday and making it extraordinary, Bobby Caina Calvan wins this week’s second honors for Best of the Week.