June 09, 2023
Beat of the Week
Finding a new twist to Florida’s new transgender care laws
documented how Florida’s new transgender care laws on children were affecting trans adults.Read more.
documented how Florida’s new transgender care laws on children were affecting trans adults.Read more.
AP produced the first comprehensive, multiformat examination of Oregon’s legalization of psilocybin — “magic mushrooms” — that proponents hope will spark a revolution in mental health care, garnering national and international attention.Read more
An AP team highlighted the disproportionate effect of cash bail as a condition of pretrial release on people of color ahead of Illinois’ historic elimination of the system through stories of residents who lost jobs, homes and time with young children due to being unable to afford bail amounts.Read more
Sam Metz had been on the job for four days. The newly appointed North Africa reporter had just arrived in Rabat, fresh from Utah, when Morocco’s strongest earthquake in more than a century hit late Friday.
As Metz got alerts and a story going, photographer Mosa’ab Elshamy knew exactly what to do. He organized a car and driver, and the duo headed to the epicenter hours away, navigating rubble-blocked roads. Their all-nighter paid off: AP had the first international journalists on-site.
Both Elshamy and Metz shot video from their phones as Brussels-based video journalist Mark Carlson rushed to get there with a LiveU and satellite phone. Freelancers helped keep AP ahead, while colleagues around the world pitched in on all formats.
AP had the first confirmed death tolls and stayed ahead throughout that crucial first day. Metz’s firsthand accounts and Elshamy’s photojournalism yielded exclusive stories that led websites beyond AP News and topped the Los Angeles Times print edition two days in a row. The Day 1 story was the third-most-viewed story on AP News for that week.
For fast and fearless work under complex circumstances, Metz, Elshamy and Carlson are this week’s Best of the Week — First Winner.
AP reported over several months how the 50-year-old Endangered Species Act has failed to prevent the decline of America’s grassland birds and their habitat.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.
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
Sydney investigative correspondent Kristen Gelineau, who has covered the Rohingya crisis since 2017, heard from a young Rohingya source about a surge in people leaving a camp in Bangladesh. And then one boat vanished.
Two sources confirmed that they’d heard about the boat vanishing. There was no official investigation — and not a single word had been written about the missing migrants.
It took two months of all-out lobbying, calling in favors from every contact in Bangladesh, to finally get a visa to go. Gelineau left 48 hours later, and Dhaka video journalist Al-emrun Garjon and photographer Mahmud Hossain Opu joined her. There were so many families desperate to talk that the AP journalists literally had a line of them waiting to speak. Many were in tears, clutching photos of their lost loved ones. Huge credit goes to our Rohingya sources, who literally risked their lives to get the truth out about this boat — tracking down sources, triple-checking facts, translating. We cannot name them for their safety, but we very much want to acknowledge them.
McKinnon de Kuyper put together the heartbreaking video, which included the call from the woman on the boat and the story was our most engaged on AP digital platforms for the day, with a perfect engagement score of 100.
For persistence in telling a story that might otherwise have remained untold, Gelineau, Garjon, Opu, de Kuyper and anonymous stringers in Bangladesh with this week’s first citation for Best of the Week.
After a monthslong analysis, the AP revealed that at least 10% of $4 trillion in federal COVID-19 relief money was stolen or misspent.
The story was sparked by a simple question in January from Acting Global Investigations Editor Alison Kodjak: How much relief money was stolen? Richard Lardner, of the global investigations team, teamed up with climate reporter Jennifer McDermott and data team reporter Aaron Kessler to get an answer. They conducted scores of interviews, read dozens of government indictments and reports and tracked down experts.
In the end, they determined scam artists potentially stole more than $280 billion in COVID-19 relief funding, and another $123 billion was wasted or misspent — a combined loss of 10% of the relief aid the U.S. government has so far disbursed. Senior video producer Jeannie Ohm and motion graphics designer Eva Malek created an animated video explainer, narrated by Kessler, that succinctly laid out how easy it was for fraudsters to make off with so much money. Multimedia editor Kevin Vineys created a series of compelling graphics that helped break down government spending and potential theft.
For spending months investigating and documenting how much of the federal government’s $4.2 trillion in COVID-19 relief was looted or misspent, Lardner, McDermott, Kessler, Vineys and Malek earn Best of the Week — First Winners.
's coverage of Los Angeles County's worst massacre led to an array of stories and visuals that portrayed not only the human suffering and complex cultural significance of the community where the attack occurred, but also held police accountable for their hours-long delay in alerting the public that a mass killer was on the loose.
Bernard Condon, Jim Mustian and Julie Watson reconstructed a detailed timeline of the shooting to confidently report that it took five hours after the shooting for authorities to alert the public that the gunman was on the loose. The story was widely played and was followed by the Los Angeles Times, which played catch-up on its own turf. AP was one of only several outlets to obtain video surveillance footage showing a hero wresting the weapon from the shooter and was among the first news outlets to report details on all 11 victims.Read more.
came together in all formats to dominate coverage of Typhoon Mawar’s direct hit on Guam.Read more.
weaved together vivid vignettes from survivors, family members of victims and first responders to show how the healing continues 10 years after the Boston Marathon bombing.Read more.
daily, all-format coverage of the Gwyneth Paltrow ski collision trial in Utah from the courtroom in the mountain resort town of Park City put us ahead of competitors and became one of the most-read stories of the week.
stood out amid competition with comprehensive coverage of disruptions to the lives of residents in a remote Taiwan-ruled island. Situated less than 20 miles off the coast of mainland China, the residents were left stranded without internet for over a month after submarine internet cables were cut off.Read more.
When COVID-19 hit, tearing through prisons and killing thousands, it severely disrupted or shut down the very programs prisoners desperately need to prepare them for eventual release. Trauma counseling, college courses, and job training in carpentry, masonry and barbering were slow to adjust to pandemic learning. Isolation and uncertainty replaced creative outlets and mental health therapies for months on end. National Writer Aaron Morrison and video journalist Noreen Nasir paired with Los Angeles photographer Jae C. Hong to explore the problem through a behind-the-scenes look at a California prison.
Visual access inside U.S. prisons is extremely rare; Morrison got the AP access using connections with sources. The team was particularly mindful of how to humanize the men beyond just their blue uniforms and tattoos, especially as they expressed themselves with such vulnerability through the intensive therapy work and programs.
For extraordinary work that allowed AP’s audience to see the impact of the COVID epidemic in prisons, Morrison, Nasir and Hong share Best of the Week — First Winner honors.
With no end in sight to Russia’s war in Ukraine, AP journalists were tasked with marking the one-year anniversary of the invasion while continuing to produce daily coverage. The result was an ambitious, wide-ranging package that both promoted and built upon the important work AP teams have done over the past year.
The process began months in advance, with AP reporters in Kyiv, Moscow and Tallinn devising a list of story ideas that would aim to show how profoundly lives have changed in Ukraine and Russia and the ripples beyond those borders. The journalists also looked at what could lie in store as we enter a second year of war.
Weeks of smart planning and coordination across bureaus and departments resulted in a strong, competitive package that included something for everyone. Erika Kinetz had an exclusive centered around secret recordings the AP obtained of intercepted conversations between Russian soldiers and their loved ones, which became AP’s most engaged story for the month. Additionally, the AP was also able to offer exclusively commissioned drone footage and, thanks to herculean efforts by staff in Ukraine, live coverage from various locations on the day of the anniversary.
For rich, thorough, revealing and thoughtful coverage of the anniversary, the Ukraine war anniversary team is this week’s Best of the Week — First Winner.
quickly responded to the potential for a viral story in a sparse email that went out late on a Thursday afternoon, about a Native American group acquiring the rights to one of America’s most enduring advertisements. The 1970s anti-pollution ad shows a man in Native American attire shed a single tear after he canoed through a littered lake.Read more.
Months of reporting by Victoria Milko, David Rising and a colleague in Myanmar led to the most authoritative look yet at the problem of landmines in the country.
Their story recounted how a boy was maimed and teenagers killed. The team was also able to get military defectors and others in the country to share with AP how civilians are used as human shields and how groups reuse mines they claim to have cleared. The story demonstrates that this will be an issue in the country for years to come.
For their work documenting the horror of landmines in one of the world’s most isolated countries, we are honored to award Milko, our AP colleague in Myanmar and Rising this week’s Best of the Week — First Winner.
reported exclusively on audio provided by a source of a secretly recorded meeting in 2020 of then-President Donald Trump’s Wisconsin campaign team members acknowledging his defeat in the state two days earlier, but also discussing how they planned to “fan the flame” of the lie that he won.Read more.