APME recognizes outstanding work by AP staff
July 27, 2005
NEW YORK (AP) — Heart-rending news accounts and photographs that
helped bring the world's attention to the horrors of the Asian tsunami
are being honored by the Associated Press Managing Editors association
in its annual awards to AP staff.
Stories from scores of reporters who scrambled throughout the region
in the first 24 hours of the rapidly unfolding story last December
received APME's top award for deadline reporting. Images captured by 17
photographers of huge waves pounding shoreline villages and widespread
destruction and personal grief took the news photography award.
Antonio Castaneda, in his first news posting with AP, was named the
John L. Dougherty Award winner for his reporting under demanding
conditions in Iraq. The award is given to a staffer with less than
three years' journalism experience with the AP and less than five
years' total news experience.
Paisley Dodds, then-AP's Caribbean news editor and now London bureau
chief, won the enterprise reporting award for exclusive stories about
controversial practices at the secretive U.S. detention center at
Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Angie Wagner, a Western regional writer based on Las Vegas, received
the feature writing award for her story about the touching bond between
a 13-year-old Iraqi informant and a U.S. military unit.
Mark Scolforo, a newsman in Harrisburg, Pa., received the Charles
Rowe Award for distinguished state reporting for planning and
coordinating a state Freedom of Information audit in Pennsylvania.
The feature photography award went to Charles Krupa of Boston for an
image of the crowd reacting and ducking for cover as a shattered bat
flies into the stands during a spring training baseball game between
the Florida Marlins and Minnesota Twins.
APME, an association of editors at 1,500 AP member newspapers in the
U.S. and the Canadian Press in Canada, annually recognizes top
performance by AP reporters, editors and photographers. This year's
winners were selected during a meeting of the association's board of
directors that concluded Monday in New York. The awards will be
presented during the APME conference Oct. 26-29 in San Jose, Calif.
In honoring the tsunami coverage, the judges cited the enormous
complexity and difficulty of providing a comprehensive, in-depth
picture of a disaster whose scope multiplied by the hour. Reflecting
the tsunami's wide swath, the deadline reporting and news photography
awards were presented to teams of reporters, editors and photographers
throughout Southeast and South Asia and around the world as the story
AP's coverage began when Asia Desk morning editor Andrea Thomas felt
a tremor in Bangkok, Thailand, filed an alert and phoned bureaus around
the region to check it out. As the severity of the earthquake became
apparent, followed by the huge, destructive waves battering coastline
villages and cities in a wide area, the story quickly grew to include
many bureaus around the world.
"The stories and sidebars swelled with incredible numbers and
horrific details that truly captured the scope of this enormous natural
disaster," the judges in the deadline reporting category said. "The
writing was clean, clear and descriptive, and the reporting from
country to country displayed what makes AP the best news source in the
While the work of many, the nomination singled out the efforts of
Jakarta correspondent Lely Djuhari, Sri Lanka Chief of Bureau Dilip
Ganguly, Singapore Chief of Bureau Chris Torchia, Thailand reporter
Sutin Wannabovorn and Malaysia Chief of Bureau Vijay Joshi.
In picking images from 17 photographers for the news photography
award, the judges said the vastness of the tsunami was difficult to
comprehend. "AP's extensive photo coverage made the enormity of the
story tragically real to people around the word. The photos stir a
strong emotional response to the destruction, loss and grief," they
Photographers cited in the award were Achmad Ibrahim, Suzanne
Plunkett, Irwin Fedriansyah and Dita Alangkara, Jakarta; Gemunu
Amarasinghe in Colombo, Sri Lanka; Elizabeth Dalziel, Beijing; Peter
Dejong, Amsterdam; Eugene Hoshiko, Shanghai; Jasper Juinen, Madrid; M.
Lakshman, Madras; David Longstreath, Bangkok; Bullit Marquez, Manila;
Saurabh Das, Gurinder Osan, Manish Swarup and Gautam Singh, New Delhi;
and Vincent Thian, Kuala Lumpur.
Castaneda, a former administrative assistant on AP's International
Desk in New York, has been in Iraq less than a year but has managed to
produce numerous news and feature stories from the war-torn country.
Wagner was cited for a feature story "A Soldier's Promise" that
explored the emotional connections between Steve-O, a young Iraqi
informant, and the Fort Carson, Colo.-based Dragon Company, 1st
Squadron, 3rd Armored Calvary Regiment. Despite initial reluctance by
the unit to talk, Wagner persisted and finally was invited to come to
Fort Carson when the boy was brought to the United States.
In a project requiring four months of legwork and reporting,
Scolforo planned and coordinated a state FOI audit involving 52 news
organizations in Pennsylvania. The results appeared as a weeklong
series that dominated front pages across the state and was reprinted in
a 16-page brochure.
The judges also cited the following work for honorable mention:
• Hurricane Ivan coverage: Staff.
• Uzbekistan Revolt: Bagila Bukharbayeva, Almaty, Kazakhstan.
• Global Warming: Special Correspondent Charles Hanley, New York.
• A Decision About Death: National Writer Pauline Arrillaga, Phoenix.
• Ryan's Shot: Sports Columnist Tim Dahlberg, Las Vegas.
• Matt Sedensky, Kansas City, Mo.
• Kristen Gelineau, Richmond, Va.
• Inmate Welfare: Kim Curtis, Bob Porterfield, San Francisco.
• Eric Rudolph and Richard Scrushy cases: Jay Reeves, Birmingham, Ala.
• Iraq staff: Mohammed Adnan, Nabil Al Jurani,
David Guttenfelder, Bilal Hussein, Karim Kadim, Jim MacMillan, Hadi
Mizban, Samir Mizban, Khalid Mohammed, Anja Niedringhaus, Jacob
Silberberg, Mohammed Uraibi.
• Philippines fire: Aaron Favila, Manila.
• Olympic table tennis: Chitose Suzuki, Boston.
• President Bush and unwieldy umbrella: Charles Dharapak, Washington.