Jan. 18, 2019
Best of the Week — First Winner
Multiformat exclusive: Thousands of child and adolescent brides enter US – legally
You know your scoop has touched a nerve when it gets tweeted by both Ann Coulter and Chelsea Clinton.
Such was the case with Colleen Long’s multiplatform APNewsBreak that the U.S. approved thousands of requests by men to have their child or adolescent brides admitted to the United States. The story not only pointed to problems in immigration law, but also lax state laws that make immigration by child brides possible.
The story started with a tip from Ron Nixon, AP’s new international investigations editor, who had been told by a source that data requested by the Senate Homeland Security Committee would be startling.
Nixon passed the information to Long, the Washington-based homeland security reporter, who persuaded committee staff to give her the story exclusively. She also went beyond the striking data to give readers a sense of how the issue affects women’s lives, speaking with women who had been married as children. A compelling video accompanied the piece.
On a busy news day, the story was one of AP’s most widely used, fronting many news websites and posted to Facebook by multiple news organizations. The video piece also had a strong showing, receiving thousands of YouTube streams and 27 customer downloads.
For revealing a little-known loophole in immigration policy that raises concerns over security and exploitation, and for connecting the data to women victimized by the policy, Colleen Long wins this week’s Best of the AP.