June 29, 2018
Beat of the Week
We were warned: 30 years of global warming
for their in-depth, analytical package looking at 30 years of global warming. https://bit.ly/2yU6NWF
for their in-depth, analytical package looking at 30 years of global warming. https://bit.ly/2yU6NWF
for turning a spot story on YouTube’s removal of hundreds of thousands of videos from Syria into a wider look at how Syrian activists are scrambling to rescue their history. http://bit.ly/2xScoLJ
Since Oct. 7, Associated Press staff in Gaza and Israel have worked tirelessly to cover the war — and to go beyond the news with deep, impactful coverage.
From live feeds and NR/CR videos to powerful photographs, text stories, audio and interactives, the Associated Press has written the first draft of history by covering the spot news around the clock — and by going deeper with resonant journalism about individuals directly affected by the war. These stories are written by colleagues who themselves have evacuated their homes and struggle to get food and water, by colleagues for whom air raid sirens have become a part of daily life.
Outside of the region, colleagues have written thoughtful analysis and all-formats takeouts on the broader resonance of the Israel-Hamas war. They’ve edited text, photos and video and worked to ensure that our standards are met throughout the report.
Because of that work across the AP, we this week honor all of those colleagues who’ve contributed to the urgency, breadth and depth of the report across all formats in our coverage of the Israel-Hamas war with a Special Citation, most especially those in the region.
for telling the story of how the war in Afghanistan came home to a hamlet in upstate New York. The town celebrated their homegrown warrior, Army Sgt. James Johnston – who was only 7 when the war that claimed his life began – and the soldier’s young widowed bride Krista and their unborn infant.https://bit.ly/33GF1rfhttps://bit.ly/35J7bUwhttps://bit.ly/31nVb7i
exclusively broke a story with both irony and foreboding: Scientists who set out to study the impact of climate change on a massive Antarctic glacier are being largely thwarted because global warming has produced an iceberg and attracted sea ice, preventing the ships from reaching their destination. At least for now, the multinational expedition is unable to reach Thwaites, the so-called Doomsday Glacier the size of Florida that is melting quickly.Because COVID concerns meant journalists could not join the research party, Washington-based climate and science reporter Bornstein developed sources among the scientists. One of them agreed to try a Zoom interview from the expedition and that interview was packed with news. Borenstein also reached out to other scientists; the resulting all-formats package played widely in the U.S. and overseas.Read more
for scoring an exclusive by obtaining an advanced look at a previously unseen handwritten letter written by Albert Einstein in which the renowned scientist warned about the rise of anti-Semitism in Germany more than a decade before the Nazis seized power.https://bit.ly/2zQdd6phttps://bit.ly/2PuxGIV
made AP the first major news organization to take a serious look at readiness in the countries most likely to be affected, as fighting around Ukraine’s nuclear power plants and Russia’s threats to use nuclear weapons reawaken nuclear fears in Europe. Some of Ukraine’s neighboring countries have started distributing potassium iodide pills, and officials are preparing old Soviet-era nuclear shelters for possible use.After two weeks spent persuading authorities to give AP’s journalists access to the underground shelters, the team reported comprehensively and responsibly — and with strong visuals — on European readiness for a possible nuclear attack. The team was careful to avoid sensationalizing the coverage or raising unnecessary fear.Read more
As the U.S. Supreme Court considers overturning the constitutional right to abortion, reporter Luis Henao and video journalist Jessie Wardarski provided a compelling account of what can happen under a total abortion ban, through the testimonials of women who were raped or suffered miscarriages in El Salvador — where the country’s harsh anti-abortion law committed them to long prison terms.
Henao and Wardarski traveled to rural El Salvador to meet women willing to share on camera their harrowing stories of being imprisoned under the law. To these Salvadoran women, their plight should serve as a cautionary tale for Americans.
The AP pair also sought the views of a Catholic cardinal and a lawmaker who defended the ban on abortion. The resulting all-formats package was used by hundreds of news outlets, was widely praised by experts on the issue and generated impassioned commentary on social media.
For engaging, insightful coverage that gives voice to women who have suffered the consequences of an abortion ban, and shedding light on an issue that sharply divides opinions in the U.S. and beyond, Henao and Wardarski earn AP’s Best of the Week — First Winner honors.
gave voice to Russians who dare challenge the official Kremlin narrative of the war in Ukraine.The correspondent, unnamed for their security, used excellent reporting skills to build trust among sources in Russia who gave their accounts of speaking out against the war being waged by Russian President Vladimir Putin, and the consequences they face for having done so.Read more
Rarely is the difference so stark between news organizations that subscribe to the AP and those that don’t. That’s down to the tireless efforts of AP staffers around the world who have reported, edited, planned, provisioned and advised to make our coverage of Ukraine truly stellar. And it’s especially true in the coverage of a single city that has seen some of the war’s worst horrors.AP’s Germany-based video journalist Mstyslav Chernov, photographer Evgeniy Maloletka and freelance producer Vasilisa Stepanenko have been the only international journalists to chronicle the tragedies of Mariupol. The team was recognized with last week’s Best of the Week award, and their unflinching coverage continued, the world riveted not only by their presence, but by their stunning journalism. Amid the chaos, they have found stories so moving — and told them so compellingly — that it’s impossible to tell the broader story of Ukraine without them.Usage for the work has been extraordinary. “Their images,” wrote Nick Schifrin of PBS NewsHour, “are defining this war.”For courageous, must-have coverage from the heart of the world’s biggest story, the team of Chernov, Maloletka and Stepanenko is AP’s Best of the Week — First Winner.
harnessed AP’s national reach to report on the fast-declining civility over mask requirements and pandemic precautions.An Alabama man drove to Missouri to serve citizen arrest papers on a hospital administrator over his insistence that people get vaccinated. Protesters beamed strobe lights into the condo building of Hawaii’s lieutenant governor and blanketed his neighborhood with anti-semitic posters to protest new restrictions amid a record surge in hospitalizations. A California parent punched a teacher in the face over mask requirements and county commissioners in Kansas were compared to the Taliban and Nazis at a mask meeting that went off the rails.With these examples rising to the surface, the reporting team assembled a smart, authoritative piece on how public discourse in America has plunged to new depths. The story led member sites, made newspaper front pages in 10 different states and was among the most-read stories on AP News over the weekend. AP Deputy Managing Editor Noreen Gillespie called it a shining example of illustrating “how a theme is rippling across the country.” https://aplink.news/bbp
Since the conflict in the Tigray region of Ethiopia broke out seven months ago, news coverage has necessarily focused on those who fled the region. And AP journalists have delivered that coverage since November. But few journalists could reach areas under the control of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, the party of Tigray’s now-fugitive leaders. Access was refused by the Ethiopian military. Until now.
AP’s Kampala, Uganda, correspondent Rodney Muhumuza and the Nairobi, Kenya-based team of Khaled Kazziha, Ben Curtis and Desmond Tiro made it through to the town of Hawzen with determination, teamwork and skill.
Once there, and knowing the risks, the all-formats team limited themselves to less than an hour in the town, during which they reported exclusively on the TPLF fighters then occupying it. Hours after the journalists left, government troops shelled the town and recaptured it. The team later interviewed displaced victims of the conflict, including child amputees. The resulting multiformat story used the Hawzen as an example of the challenges facing Ethiopian authorities in the region.
For smart, careful and courageous reporting to become the first outside journalists since the conflict started to interview fighters loyal to the TPLF, Muhumuza, Curtis, Kazziha and Tiro earn AP’s Best of the Week award.
A tweet was the seed for this illuminating story. “Most people in my rural, Appalachian hometown are being radicalized at church by their pastor, which is the person they trust the most,” it read. AP’s Global Religion team ran with it.
Reporter Luis Andres Henao and visual journalist Jessie Wardarski visited the parishioners of three churches in Bluefield, West Virginia, including one pastor who had attended the Jan. 6 Washington rally that degenerated into a riot. The AP pair spent weeks convincing him to sit down for an interview. The result was an all-formats package of diverse congregations seeking common ground, even as they are divided on the role of evangelical Christianity in American politics.
For applying gentle persuasion and balanced reporting to produce a nuanced look at religion and politics in one West Virginia town, Henao and Wardarski win this week’s Best of the States award.
As stories with impact go, this one stands out: The lead subject of the piece, struggling to feed her family during the pandemic, was tracked down on social media and hired by a reader for a job.
The all-formats package by reporter Luis Andres Henao and visual journalist Jessie Wardarski chronicled the struggle of Sharawn Vinson and her Brooklyn family as they coped with a shortage of food and other crises, taking readers into the lives of a family that was forced to separate to keep everyone fed. The details shared by the family give readers a better understanding of the issues confronting many of the nation’s most vulnerable during the pandemic.
For a rare, intimate look at a family on the front lines of food insecurity brought on by the coronavirus, documented with riveting photos and video, Henao and Wardarski share this week’s Best of the States award.
The Life Care Center in Kirkland, Washington, has emerged as the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States. At least 35 coronavirus deaths have been linked to the facility, and more than half of those inside have tested positive, leaving the remaining residents in a sort of purgatory that has anguished their relatives.
Photographer Ted Warren has spent much of his time recently outside the long-term care center, documenting in heartrending photos how people have tried to communicate with mothers, fathers and loved ones through windows because visitors are no longer allowed inside.
Warren found an ideal subject for conveying this desperation in the story of 86-year-old Chuck Sedlacek. With reporting by Gene Johnson, the pair delivered a package that detailed the isolation and anguish faced by the nursing home residents and their families – a feeling of helplessness many more are likely to experience as the disease spreads across the country.
For compelling work that conveys the frustration and despair of families coping with the coronavirus at a facility in the glare of the media spotlight, Warren and Johnson earn this week’s Best of the States award.
using the Bambuser live video app on his iPhone for the first time, transmitted live footage of Elizabeth Warren showing up to vote on Super Tuesday. His video was so good, both NBC and ABC used it, and ABC – which had its own camera following Warren – switched to Binkley's shot midfeed. https://bit.ly/2TJ0XzV
for using dozens of public records requests to break news on the FBI’s efforts to warn American colleges and universities that they’re vulnerable to economic and industrial espionage by China. Emails obtained by AP underscore the extent of U.S. concerns that universities, as recruiters of foreign talent and incubators of cutting-edge research, present a particularly inviting target for espionage. https://bit.ly/2ovvbtc
“... Due to the distractions caused by the unfounded AP article last week, I am stepping down as President of YOUR college effective immediately.”
Rear Admiral Jeffrey Harley, head of the elite U.S. Naval War College, pushed the button on that all-staff missive Monday after the Navy announced it was reassigning him in the wake of exclusive reporting by Jennifer McDermott and Michelle R. Smith – reporting that produced two APNewsBreaks in 72 hours.
Their first NewsBreak moved Friday, confirming the military was investigating allegations that Harley spent excessively, abused his hiring authority and otherwise behaved inappropriately, including keeping a margarita machine in his office. Three days later, the AP team was first again with word that the Navy was removing Harley from his post pending the outcome of its probe.
Both stories gained huge traction with customers and on social media. The scoops by McDermott’s and Smith were “just the tip of the iceberg,” one source said, and they’ve since led to new tips.
For dogged and diligent reporting that exposed questionable leadership at the heart of the Navy’s brain trust, McDermott and Smith win this week’s Best of the States prize.
for breaking the news of an imminent international plan to evacuate trapped Syrian White Helmets from southern Syria via Israel.https://bit.ly/2vwLplvhttps://goo.gl/3JfJ4v
for being first with the news that the Trump administration would extend temporary residency for nearly 7,000 Syrians in the U.S., but cut it off so new arrivals couldn’t apply. http://wapo.st/2EP02Vz