March 01, 2019
Best of the Week — First Winner
Months of planning, smart execution result in dominating Oscars coverage
The envelope was opened, “Green Book” was announced as best picture at the 91st Oscars, and entertainment writer Andrew Dalton’s eyes shifted over to Spike Lee.
The director threw up his hands in exasperation and attempted to storm out of the Dolby Theatre before being told to return to his seat. Social media quickly lit up with disdain for the selection by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and Dalton’s eyewitness reporting quickly fueled the criticism.
In a packed theater filled with actors and other journalists, Dalton reported what few saw and the television cameras didn’t show, giving the AP exclusive material and driving audiences to its comprehensive Oscars coverage.
Later that night, entertainment producer Mike Cidoni Lennox interviewed “Green Book’s” producers outside the Oscars’ official after-party, helping drive the following day’s coverage of the controversial win.
The reaction to the best picture winner capped dominating all-formats team coverage of the Oscars, the result of months of planning and preparation. AP customers received a steady stream of photos, video and stories, including film writer Jake Coyle’s deadline story which was viewed more than 88,000 times. Coyle had crafted prep for all the likely winners, allowing for fast updates when the envelopes were opened.
For their extensive planning, professional expertise and swift work, Dalton, Coyle and Lennox win AP’s Best of the Week award.