London-based editor Courtney Bonnell has owned the story since Russia and Ukraine signed a landmark grain distribution deal a year ago that cleared the way for Ukraine to export its grain across the Black Sea to the rest of the world. So, when the long-sought deal ended, she was well placed to report the fallout. Earlier this month, Bonnell and United Nations chief correspondent Edie Lederer began hearing rumblings that Russia would not extend the deal when it was up for renewal.
Bonnell put together preparedness and wrote a smart explainer about why the deal mattered. That background, context and prep put AP ahead of the competition when Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed that the deal will be suspended, and Moscow reporter Vladimir Isachenkov filed the alert. The main story about the end of the deal was the fifth most-used text story among customers last week. Africa business climate reporter Taiwo Adebayo was quick with a story from Nigeria showing the real-life impact. From Kenya, reporter Evelyne Musambi reported from a remote refugee camp near the border with Somalia, where hundreds of thousands who have fled climate change struggle with aid shortages, and Isachenkov wrote a smart analysis.