July 14, 2023
Beat of the Week
Yearlong photo project shines spotlight on coal-country drag
help show that this is more than just entertaining, but a way of life.Read more.
help show that this is more than just entertaining, but a way of life.Read more.
West Africa correspondent Sam Mednick was in Niamey — by chance to make use of a visa nearing expiration — when mutinous bodyguards launched a coup against their president. But her stellar, singlehanded all-formats coverage is due entirely to her extraordinary multimedia skills and perseverance.
Day after day, Mednick produced live video, photos of demonstrations, WhatsApp clips to colleagues and interviews on and off the record to show the importance of the coup in a country that has long been considered a bulwark of democracy against Islamic extremism and autocracy.
The result: A story that Mednick owned alone among international journalists.
For her tireless, astonishing multimedia coverage in a place where few of our competitors, if any, had a presence on the ground, we are honored to award Sam Mednick the Best of the Week — First Winner.
When the pope visited an impoverished suburban neighborhood of Lisbon, during his trip to mark the first massive gathering of young Catholics since the pandemic started, AP was among the few who noticed a group of people among the crowd that had rainbow flags and distinctive signs identifying them as members of the LGBTQ+ community.Read more
Migration-focused video journalist Renata Brito in Barcelona took note of a heartbreaking photo on social media to spark a story about the situation at the Tunisia-Libya border — and she used her years of source work, expertise on the border and help from around AP to confirm the story.
On July 19, the photo of a woman and child lying dead, barefoot and face down in the tawny desert sand began circulating on social media. It was retweeted by activists who accused Tunisia of abandoning migrants to their fates on the other side of Tunisia’s desert border with Libya.
But little was known about the photo or the stories of the two who had died.
On social media, some said the photo spoke to that growing crisis, but others insisted it was an old image from another country.
Three days after the photo surfaced, a source of Brito’s in Libya messaged her, saying he knew the woman and child in the photo. From afar, Brito had developed a relationship with the source for years. For this story, Brito asked the source: How did he know it was them? Could she speak to friends or family? With whom did they travel?
That resulted in a tale of dashed hope and tragedy as told to the AP by the late woman’s husband, with additional details and key context contributed by Elaine Ganley and Samy Magdy, who together are Best of the Week — First Winner.
Amid mystery about the whereabouts of several migrant boats missing enroute to Spain via ‘The Atlantic Route,’ AP travelled north to talk to people in fishing town Saint-Louis.Read more
AP spent months reporting the issue of tornado deaths in mobile homes and why they still happen despite being known and avoidable.Read more
In Kenya, police brutality has long been criticized. But the violence this month against demonstrators still shocked. AP delivered an all-formats documentation of it, along with attempts to hide it.
As Kenyans protested new taxes and the cost of living, freelance photographer Brian Inganga delivered widely shared images of several people shot by police in one of Nairobi’s most volatile neighborhoods.
As rumors circulated about the number of people shot dead, AP confirmed that police received orders not to report the deaths, not even to their oversight authority, which is illegal. East Africa correspondent Cara Anna combined that with data from a medical-legal watchdog group to show that police had killed more than 30 people.
East Africa writer Evelyne Musambi wrote about one of the victims, a young man who carted water. Kenya’s president, William Ruto, had relied on the support of just these kinds of working class “hustlers” to win office, but they took the brunt of the violence. Video journalist Josphat Kasire was instrumental in finding the victim’s family through patient efforts at the morgue.
For showing the scale of violence that the police wanted to keep under wraps, all while protecting each other’s backs amid street violence, Inganga, Anna, Musambi and Kasire are this week’s Best of the Week — First Winner.
had for months followed Van Houten’s efforts to be paroled after half a century in prison for participating in two gruesome stabbings.Read more.
produced fast, engaging and comprehensive coverage of the NATO summit in Vilnius.Read more.
When a Texas sheriff’s story about a mass shooting didn’t add up, Dallas-based reporter Jake Bleiberg dug in.
During the four-day search for a man accused of fatally shooting five of his neighbors in April, San Jacinto County Sheriff Greg Capers told a crush of reporters that his deputies got to the scene in 11 minutes, but the suspect had vanished. Bleiberg was among the Texas reporters covering the shooting who heard from area residents that deputies rarely responded to calls faster than 30 minutes. As he worked the phone to get a fuller picture, Bleiberg connected with a source who provided him with the report of a police consultant who county officials hired to examine the sheriff’s office. Bleiberg quickly authenticated the document and headed down to the rural corner of East Texas to continue reporting along with video journalist Lekan Oyekanmi and freelance photographer Michael Wyke.
They conducted more than 20 interviews with current and former deputies, county officials and residents. Bleiberg successfully pressed for the release of public records related to the shooting and obtained revealing court documents and evidence gathered in a whistleblower lawsuit against the sheriff. The reporting revealed that the latest inaccuracies were part of years’ worth of accusations against the sheriff, including neglecting basic police work, evidence of the improper seizure of tens of thousands of dollars of property, ignoring previous concerns over the alleged shooter, and his deputies failing to follow up on reports of 4,000 crimes — including sexual and child abuse.
For a tireless effort to reveal years of corruption accusations and dysfunction previously unknown outside of the local area, Jake Bleiberg earns Best of the Week — First Winner.
AP explored the effect of new guidelines for treatment of kids with severe obesity that came out in January. Read more
were dispatched to the rural Maine town to cover conflict over a plan to build a flagpole taller than the Empire State Building.Read more.
The Paris suburb of Nanterre was at the heart of violent protests after a French policeman killed a 17-year-old at a traffic stop, and AP journalists in Paris worked around the clock and at a competitive disadvantage to document the unrest and its aftermath.
Photographer Christophe Ena was among the first on the scene, taking AP’s first photos and video of flames in Nanterre on the first night and alerting our customers — and competitors — of the gravity of the story. He and a photographer from the European Pressphoto Agency were the only international journalists on the scene at the time and worked together to ensure each other’s safety as tensions rose around them.
Cara Anna, arriving from Nairobi, was among just a few journalists to cover the boy’s funeral and discreetly filmed a brief video of the cemetery where people were gathering to mourn. It was the only footage published of the event, but also respected the organizers’ request not to have cameras at the funeral itself.
For sensitive, honest work in unpredictable, often hostile conditions to show a part of France tourists see rarely and understand even less, Ena and Anna earn this week’s first citation for Best of the Week.
months and months of source-building and knowledge-building led to landing an officially branded “The AP Interview” with the boss of the Paris 2024 Olympics, Tony Estanguet.
told the story of a stumbling start to a historic wildfire mitigation effort intended to avoid a repeat of the climate-driven conflagrations that destroyed Western communities in recent years.Read more.
worked together to follow up on their earlier newsbreak of a massive theft of food aid allegedly orchestrated by Ethiopian officials to feed fighting forces and sell the food in markets.Read more.
broke the news on June 21 that U.S. regulators had, for the first time, approved the sale of a new kind of meat made from animal cells.Read more.
spent years reporting on the case of Jeff Woodke, an American man held hostage for more than six years by extremist groups in West Africa.Read more.
AP staff and freelancers scrambled to Florida and set up an ad hoc newsroom inside and outside the federal courthouse in Miami, and many others in Washington, U.S. News and beyond dove in to provide support and expertise after the surprise news that the Trump documents case had been moved from Washington to Florida by prosecutors.Read more
AP went beyond the news of the day to look deep into the life of a Missouri doctor who mysteriously disappeared and was found dead in a lake nine days later.Read more