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.
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.
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.
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
Years of reporting on Libya from afar and a local freelancer’s willingness to travel treacherous roads allowed AP’s team to alert the world about a disaster of massive proportions, after heavy floods burst two dams above the city of Derna, washing away and killing thousands.
It took nearly 24 hours for news to emerge from Libya of the deadly floods. But with the country divided between rival governments with spotty records for accuracy, it was tricky to grasp the extent of the devastation.
When one of the governments reported more than 2,000 dead and counting, Libya video producer Adel Omran was the first to alert the team, after which Cairo reporter Samy Magdy called contacts in the health care and aid community, who confirmed that toll and said it was likely to rise.
Misrata-based freelance photographer Yousef Murad drove hours to the scene, sending an initial dispatch showing mass burials for the rising number of bodies. On the ground, Murad faced difficult conditions and lack of basic amenities as the stench of death overtook the city. His subsequent stories documented the immense recovery effort and the stories of survivors.
For their harrowing work revealing a complex story of disaster and recovery, Magdy, Murad and Omran are this week’s Best of the Week — First Winner.
The first word came at 6:25 a.m., Oct. 7 local time: Red alerts were issued via WhatsApp for several locations in Israel. Sirens could be heard in Tel Aviv. AP journalists saw rockets being shot from Rafah in Gaza towards Israel. Then word filtered in from the Israeli army that there were numerous security breaches in central and southern Israel. More rockets fell, with Israeli ambulances dispatched to areas where residents had reported strikes. Taken together, it told of an ominous new day in the region.
The first of what would be many AP news alerts moved 20 minutes later: Israel says Palestinian militants have infiltrated into Israeli territory from Gaza.
What unfolded over the days was massive in its scope: The militant armed group Hamas executed a well-planned surprise attack on what would normally be a joyful holiday, Simchat Torah.
The Israeli army, caught off guard, struggled for days to regain control of the invaded towns. Israel released counterstrikes into Gaza, killing hundreds. Over the next 10 days the toll would rise to thousands dead in Gaza and in Israel.
Throughout the conflict, the teams in Israel and Gaza worked with courage, determination and excellence under extremely challenging circumstances to report on the painful events affecting them and their families. They earn Best of the Week — First Winner.