July 21, 2023
Beat of the Week
Deep reporting on search for answers, half a century after fire destroys veterans’ records
brought new light to the story.Read more.
brought new light to the story.Read more.
Building on the groundbreaking Missing Students project, the AP’s Education team and a Stanford educational economist analyzed data from before and after the pandemic in 40 states and Washington, D.C., to show the scope of the nation’s crisis in school attendance.Read more
When a wildfire broke out in Maui and obliterated the centuries-old town of Lahaina, staff in AP’s Pacific Northwest sprang into action. Honolulu’s Audrey McAvoy was on the ground within hours, leveraging the AP’s unique Hawaii footprint for the first of many days of aggressive coverage that allowed AP to own the story from the beginning.
McAvoy was quickly joined by Portland, Oregon, reporter Claire Rush, who canceled her vacation; photographer Rick Bowmer and video journalists Ty O’Neil and Haven Daley. Jennifer Kelleher joined the reporting effort from Honolulu, where she anchored the story for days with help from Chris Weber in Los Angeles and worked longtime sources, including Gov. Josh Green, to keep AP ahead. Rush, O’Neil and Bowmer slept in an SUV for two days in the burn zone.
On Aug. 9, apnews.com received 7.6 million page views — a new record and a 32% increase over traffic the previous Wednesday, and the following day also broke previous records with 7.5 million page views.
The Live Updates fixture, artfully anchored by a changing cast of characters, was also a huge winner for AP and served as a “search tree” that led readers back to AP’s content again and again.
For extraordinary coverage of the devastating fire, accomplished despite huge logistical challenges, the AP Maui team earns Best of the Week — First Winner.
When former President Donald Trump was indicted on felony charges Aug. 1 for working to overturn the 2020 election results in the run-up to the Jan. 6 violent riot at the U.S. Capitol, the AP team was ready.Read more
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
AP broke news about a major development in the escalating U.S.-Iran tensions: The Pentagon is considering putting armed Marines and sailors on commercial ships in the Strait of Hormuz to guard against Iranian harassment and seizures.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 deployed quickly at the Mexican port where an Australian castaway was to arrive after being rescued by a Mexican boat, putting the AP ahead of competitors also covering the story.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.
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
blew away the competition on the prison stabbing of disgraced sports doctor Larry Nassar.Read more.
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.
get AP access to thousands of pages of documents that gave a glimpse of the federal government’s haphazard handling of nuclear waste in the St. Louis area.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.
help show that this is more than just entertaining, but a way of life.Read more.
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.
exposed the truth: The number of e-cigarettes on the market has exploded in recent years, a surge driven almost entirely by disposable e-cigarettes imported from China.Read more.
AP journalists followed the sun and worked across regions and formats to document the saga of the missing Titan submersible for a full week of nonstop coverage that broke news, offered smart enterprise and analysis, live updates, chunky digital first explainers, graphics, live and produced video content, radio pieces and a comprehensive photo report.
A report that a deep-ocean submersible was missing near the site of the Titanic was confirmed early in the week by a small group of AP reporters. What came next was a marathon of coverage that spanned nearly every hour of the day for several days, the world waiting as 96 hours of breathable air would have been slipping away along with hopes of finding survivors inside the doomed Titan. As the story unfolded, it revealed an industry that largely lacks regulation and oversight.
The coverage contributed to AP digital platforms’ strongest week of the year, with 9.6 million page views across the web and app on Wednesday. Ramirez’s fact-check about the Titan was the week’s most-viewed story. The Titan sub explainer detailing the latest in the investigation was AP’s second most-engaged story, with an engagement score of 95. Traffic was enhanced by multiple breakout stories to highlight key topics of interest among readers.
For using the breadth of the AP to successfully tell a fast-moving story from multiple angles, the AP Titan team wins this week’s first citation for Best of the Week.
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.