Strong sourcing and domination of coverage of the federal prison system allowed Mike Sisak and Mike Balsamo to blow away the competition on the prison stabbing of disgraced sports doctor Larry Nassar.
It started with a tip from a longtime source of Sisak, a New York-based law enforcement reporter. Sisak, who was off from work and out to breakfast on a golfing trip in Pennsylvania, immediately called U.S. Law Enforcement News Editor Mike Balsamo. Within minutes, Balsamo confirmed the stabbing with a source the reporting duo had cultivated over their years of reporting on the Bureau of Prisons.
With the help of Washington desk editor Dino Hazell, AP’s news alert moved to the wire at 8:18 a.m. and immediately ricocheted around the world. The story was widely used by network news outlets and newspapers around the U.S. CNN and Fox News credited the AP on air, while other major competitors, from the Washington Post to the New York Times, credited AP in their reporting.
The story was the most viewed story last week on AP News, with more than 400,000 page views. And subsequent reporting reached more than 100K views. The Nassar stabbing stories were also some of the most read on AP’s social media platforms.