APME honors journalism of AP staff
Aug. 3, 2009
NEW YORK (AP) – AP's fast, multi-dimensional coverage of the
splashdown of a passenger jet into the Hudson River in New York City
has been honored for Deadline Reporting by the Associated Press
Managing Editors Association.
"The world expects The Associated Press to react well to breaking
news, especially when it occurs in the main office's backyard," the
APME judges said in making the award to AP's New York City staff. "But
when a US Airways jetliner crash-landed in the Hudson River on January
15, the AP staff in New York really shone, producing a series of
insightful, compelling and exclusive stories that demonstrated the
power of the world's largest news organization."
From the first alert at 3:51 p.m. until 11 p.m. the main story was
updated 19 times. By then, AP also had produced sidebars, including
profiles of the pilot and passengers, a reconstruction of the flight
and the dangers birds pose to aviation, the judges noted.
"It was a company-wide effort that included several powerful and
exclusive images by many photographers on the ground; multiple video
packages; interactive graphics that explained how the flight failed;
and bureaus around the country being enlisted in the reporting effort,
from California to North Carolina to Washington, D.C.," they said. "A
job well done on news that literally fell from the sky."
The association of editors at AP's 1,500 member newspapers in the
U.S. and newspapers served by the Canadian Press in Canada annually
recognizes outstanding work by the company's journalists. The judges
reviewed nominated work published between June 1, 2008, and June 30,
2009. The awards will be presented during the APME annual conference
with the Associated Press Photo Managers Oct. 28-30 in St. Louis.
Gaza photographer Khalil Hamra received the News Photos award for
images chronicling the destruction, chaos and Palestinian rage
associated with the Israeli incursion into Gaza, the neighborhood where
Hamra lived with his partner, pregnant with twins when the fighting
began. Islamabad photographer Emilio Morenatti earned honors for
Feature Photos for his portraits of women victims of acid attacks in
The Iraq war was central to three AP staff awards. National writer
Sharon Cohen was honored for Feature Writing for a seven-part story on
the longest deployment of an American unit, soldiers from the Minnesota
National Guard. Photos taken for that package, "Long Haul," were part
of a portfolio that earned Jae C. Hong the John L. Dougherty Award for
a newer AP staffer.
Best Use of Video was awarded to photojournalists Evan Vucci, Maya
Alleruzzo and Rick Bowmer, and multimedia producer Matt Ford, for
"Killer Blue: Baptized by Fire," a multimedia package blending video,
still photos and text telling the story of one of the last Army units
to serve a 15-month combat tour in Iraq before tours were cut to 12
An exclusive AP national economic stress index received the Best Use
of Multimedia Award. Credited were South Editor Brian Carovillano and
multimedia editor Peter Prengaman in Atlanta, Central Editor David
Scott in Chicago, Orlando correspondent Mike Schneider, newsman Mike
Baker in Raleigh, N.C., artist Carrie Osgood in New York, producer Jake
O'Connell in New York, developers John Balestrieri and Allen Chen in
New York and developer Troy Thibodeaux in Washington.
Africa correspondent Michelle Faul received the Enterprise Reporting
award for a series focusing on unrest in the Congo, including accounts
of how girls, young children and even babies had been raped by rebel
Springfield, Ill., newsman John O'Connor received the Charles Rowe
Award for Distinguished State Reporting for a body of work that
included coverage of the misconduct of ousted Illinois Gov. Rod
Blagojevich, wasteful spending by bureaucrats and details about the
parole status of the man accused of killing singer Jennifer Hudson's
The judges also awarded the following honorable mentions:
■ Deadline Reporting: reporters in Chicago, Washington and elsewhere for coverage of Blagojevich's arrest.
■ Feature Writing: special correspondent Helen O'Neill for a
profile of a brilliant young chef who faces cancer of the tongue;
O'Neill for a profile of an aging racist who apologized for beating a
young black activist a half-century ago – Rep. John Lewis; Texas sports
editor Jaime Aron for a narrative about the premature birth of his twin
sons and the tiny babies' struggle to survive; and Orange County,
Calif., correspondent Gillian Flaccus for a look behind the "roll call
of the dead" reading of the names of 148,000 veterans at Riverside
■ Enterprise Reporting: breaking news, scoops and features
from the U.S.-Mexico border by San Diego-based writer Elliott Spagat;
medical writer Marilynn Marchione for a critical look at the claimed
curative powers of alternative medicine; AP teams in Afghanistan and
Pakistan for groundbreaking stories from the region; and the
investigative team of Jeff Donn, Martha Mendoza and Justin Pritchard
for reporting that America's drinking water supplies are contaminated
with trace concentrations of a multitude of pharmaceuticals.
■ John L. Dougherty Award: Kenya correspondent Katharine Houreld for a variety of stories from the region.
■ Best Use of Multimedia: the Washington multimedia team for presentation of the 2008 election.
■ Best Use of Video: Julie Pace, Jason Bronis, Bonny Ghosh,
Rich Matthews, Sagar Meghani and Michael Waldon for coverage of the
inauguration of Barack Obama.
■ News Photos: David Guttenfelder, chief of Asia photos and
based in Tokyo, for dramatic photos from being embedded with an
American military unit in Afghanistan; Morenatti for photos of refugees
from Swat Valley violence.
■ Feature Photos: Guatemala-based photographer Rodrigo Abd
for a photo of a Guatemalan transvestite talking with her mother
surrounded by dogs, puppies, chickens and children; Ariana Cubillo,
Caracas, Venezuela, for a story on a maternity hospital in Haiti.