Dec. 03, 2021
Best of the Week — First Winner
AP dominates coverage of Ahmaud Arbery verdict with dedicated reporting, planning, teamwork
When the first murder conviction came down in the closely watched trial of three men accused in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, AP’s news alert rocketed out a stunning nine minutes ahead of competitors. Savannah, Georgia, correspondent Russ Bynum anchored that coverage on the final day as he had single-handedly for weeks, writing thousands of words over the course of the trial.
His deep knowledge of the complex case was key to preparing for the potential verdicts. Bynum and team had a plan in place: AP would send out an alert as soon as a first murder conviction came down, rather than wait for verdicts on all three defendants. That decision gave AP the edge over news organizations that waited for all the verdicts to be read, and no doubt contributed to AP’s overall dominance of the story.
The verdicts were followed with analysis, explainers and enterprise. AP also produced 13 video edits on the final day and captured telling photos inside the courtroom before, during and after the convictions.
Bynum was at the heart of AP’s collaborative effort. For his fierce dedication to the case, Russ Bynum earns AP’s Best of the Week — First Winner honors.