Feb. 22, 2019
Best of the Week — First Winner
AP breaks global news with unprecedented Maduro interview
“How quickly can you and your boss get here?”
The curt text message to Andean News Director Joshua Goodman from Venezuela’s normally evasive communications minister promised a tantalizing scoop. It set Goodman and Ian Phillips, vice president for international news, on an intercontinental dash to Caracas to secure embattled Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s first-ever interview with an English-language news agency.
Among the exclusives from the interview, Maduro revealed that his foreign minister had twice met secretly in New York with a Trump administration envoy. It came against a tense backdrop as the U.S. joined other Latin American nations in calling for the leader’s ouster.
The unprecedented access came as the result of Goodman’s years of source development with the Venezuelan government, including cultivating pro-government sources and making sure cabinet ministers saw that AP’s coverage of the nation was fair and balanced.
The package was a dominating all-formats beat for the AP and a massive draw for customers, with video of the interview downloaded more than 840 by clients around the world. And in a surprise first, Venezuelan state TV also carried the 42-minute interview in its entirety in prime time.
For his masterful source development, resourcefulness and quick work to put the AP ahead, Goodman wins AP’s Best of the Week award.