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 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 a followup to an earlier AP investigation identifying a Minnesotan as a former Nazi SS commander suspected in a massacre; the story reported that Poland has asked for the arrest of the 98-year-old. http://www.startribune.com/poland-confir…
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
With the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol under siege by Russian forces, two courageous AP journalists, Germany-based video journalist Mstyslav Chernov and Kyiv photographer Evgeniy Maloletka, have been out in the streets, day in and day out, virtually alone in chronicling the city’s fall into chaos, despair and utter isolation, and the suffering of the civilian population.
Driving a van with windows blown out by explosions and filing their video and photos when they can establish communications, the pair has been the world’s only eyes on a key city that is suffering at the hands of the Russian offensive. Their images and words have riveted the world’s attention.
For harrowing reporting from a besieged city that would go unseen without their unflinching courage, we are honored to award the pair AP’s Best of the Week — First Winner.
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
recognized news when they heard it. The White House reporters jumped on President Joe Biden's off-the-cuff warnings about nuclear “Armageddon,” made during a sleepy fundraiser, and set the news agenda, immediately moving a news alert followed by a 200-word story that rocketed around the globe ahead of all competitors.Read more
delivered must-read, must-watch stories, adding new layers of depth to AP’s already pacesetting journalism as the Russian invasion of Ukraine grinds into its fifth month.AP journalists in the region, seeking to dispel the notion voiced by Western leaders that global audiences are beginning to experience “war fatigue,” recognized the need for a shift in focus from increasingly incremental developments. They pivoted swiftly to impactful big-picture views of the conflict, all while ensuring competitive coverage of major spot news.Ranging from analysis of the war’s shifting front lines to essential multiformat reporting on longer-term repercussions — the legacy of land mines, the plight of Ukrainian youth, the effect on global food security, among others — and including exclusive video and photos from front-line positions, the AP provided clients and readers with an exceptional body of work over the course of seven days.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
turned a reader’s polite complaint into an engaging mystery story of 17th century piracy. Amateur historian Jim Bailey questioned why AP had run an item on a 1796 penny found in a Maine churchyard. The coin was not significant but, he added, he had found one that was. The tip put Kole and Senne on the trail of ancient Arabian coins unearthed around New England that were traced to Henry Every, an English pirate whose crew raped, murdered and pillaged in 1695, making the captain the planet’s most-wanted man. Kole interviewed historians and archaeologists who said Bailey’s discovery — a 1693 Yemeni coin found with a metal detector in a pick-your-own fruit orchard — indeed was significant and that it provided evidence that the subject of the world’s first manhunt did not just vanish into the wind after plundering a ship carrying Muslim pilgrims home from a pilgrimage to Mecca — he and his crew may have spent time in colonial New England spending their loot. Bailey found documents showing that the way the pirates hid out was by posing as slave traders, then a “legitimate” profession in Newport, Rhode Island.Kole's story rocketed to the top of the news cycle on the day it was published, getting more clicks than any other story on apnews.com. https://bit.ly/2Ov95UV
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.
Small businesses – critical to the health of the global economy – are clearly being hit hard by the pandemic. Over the next six months to a year, Associated Press journalists around the world will chronicle their fight for survival, in an ambitious series called “Small Business Struggles.”
The first piece, anchored by national writer Adam Geller with a rich digital presentation by video editor Samantha Shotzbarger, got the project off to an incredible start. With contributions in all formats from more than two dozen staffers worldwide, the story brought readers into the agonizing decisions business owners face as they try to stay afloat. The package led the AP News site and was used by digital, print and video customers around the world.
For pulling together the opening salvo in this immersive and significant global project, Geller and Shotzbarger share AP’s Best of the Week.
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
for reporting about the world’s largest animal crossing, planned for the U.S. 101 freeway northwest of Los Angeles. California transportation officials didn’t have much to say about the plan, but Weber connected with a source at the National Wildlife Federation, a major backer of the project. They gave AP access to plans, renderings and other images, and eventually the site itself. The organizers allowed the AP all-formats package, which received extraordinary play, serve as the project’s public announcement. https://bit.ly/2KXSGnl
“... 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.