AP responds with impressive multiformat coverage as Myanmar’s military seizes control of the government.
Early in the morning of Feb. 1, AP’s Yangon bureau alerted colleagues in the Bangkok regional hub of rumors that lawmakers and other elected political leaders had been arrested.
With communication lines down in the capital Naypyitaw, the seat of government, confusion gripped other parts of the country, but an alert went out to say there were reports of a coup underway. AP was quick to file photos and video footage showing the mood in Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city.
About two hours after AP first learned of the rumors, Myanmar’s military TV announced that the military had taken power for a year, and another alert went out. More still and video images moved from Myanmar showing people queueing up at ATM machines to withdraw cash, and supporters of the military traveling around Yangon.
Through it all, the footage and detailed descriptions of the situation on the ground inside Myanmar were crucial in fleshing out the text story being written by colleagues in Bangkok.
That initial work under difficult conditions set the stage for strong, competitive coverage of a challenging and rapidly evolving story that continues through today. And it is that outstanding work that AP honors with the Best of the Week award.