Two ground wars, a devastating earthquake in Syria and Turkey, wildfires in Hawaii, the coronation of King Charles III and much more defined a tumultuous 2023. Associated Press journalists were there, often at great personal risk, to tell these stories and so many others as we advanced the power of factual journalism.

AP’s mission is more important today than perhaps it ever has been in AP’s 178-year history. Our staff in nearly 100 countries and every U.S. state work to support the accurate, fact-based, nonpartisan AP journalism that reaches more than half the world’s population every day.

With the 2024 U.S. presidential election fast approaching, we are preparing to once again carry out our indispensable role in the American democracy. On Nov. 5, AP will perform the single largest act of journalism there is — counting the vote, declaring winners and reporting the results of 7,000 races across the U.S., including for president, Senate, U.S. House and statewide and local races. This is a unique and essential role the AP has played since 1848.

We enter this super election year — with elections in more than 50 countries — as misinformation and generative AI continue to fuel mistrust. To help combat this, AP has redoubled its commitment to transparency. AP’s democracy news team, now in its second year, will work alongside our politics team and journalists in Washington to explain topics central to American democracy, including election systems, institutions and processes. Importantly, we have placed explanatory journalism — including how we have arrived at our race calls — at the heart of our coverage. It’s crucial that, as a news organization, we show our work.

Transparency and standards are especially crucial as we grapple with generative AI, a technology that presents both challenges and opportunities for the news industry. Our position remains the same as it was one year ago: intellectual property must be protected and content creators must be fairly compensated for their work. AP continues to work with technology companies to license our content while we work with industry groups to push for a regulatory framework that respects these principles.

Last year was full of innovation around AI at AP. We unveiled generative AI standards, including how and when to use it, and published guidance for journalists on how to cover the technology. We shared the results of our Local News AI initiative, funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, which helped local newsrooms across the U.S. identify and adopt AI-based solutions. And we launched a unique AI-powered search experience on AP Newsroom, unlocking our vast visual archives through conceptual searches rather than just traditional metadata.

Our innovations continued as we launched in 2023 redesigned AP News website to better showcase our journalism and help provide digital-ready content to our member news organizations and customers. And, for the first time, we made it possible for members of the public to donate to the AP in support of independent, fact-based journalism. These efforts are key to our revenue diversification as a digital news organization.

AP’s transformation also extended to our news production capabilities and our content offerings. Last year we completed the setup of our global 24/7 editing desks that follow the sun. We created a new social video team that reaches audiences where they are, and we debuted a live blog feature that benefits our customers and engages our audiences with real-time updates and behind-the-scenes details. We fortified our role as a  partner for local news outlets through our localization guides, AP StoryShare and new collaborations, including  training other newsrooms on climate and other timely topics. We increased our production of digital videos substantially in 2023, and downloads of these videos by our customers were up 53%. We also had a record year on YouTube, gaining over a half million subscribers.

When it comes to the journalism AP produced last year, our core role as the definitive source for global breaking news is clear. During a year of extreme weather events, including the devastating Maui wildfires and unprecedented heatwaves across the globe, AP was there to document the toll. In Israel and Gaza, AP staff worked tirelessly to cover the war and delivered deep, impactful coverage since the start of the conflict in the early hours of Oct. 7, working through incredibly challenging conditions. AP’s education team produced an exclusive investigation on chronically absent students, revealing the scope of the U.S. crisis in school attendance. In “Adrift,” an investigation that took nearly two years and spanned multiple continents, AP retraced the voyage of 43 people lost in the Atlantic as they tried to reach Europe. These are but a few examples of standout AP journalism.

Philanthropic funding has been essential in providing greater depth in key coverage areas like climate, democracy, health and religion. We grew our funding substantially in 2023, working with The Chronicle of Philanthropy and The Conversation to bolster coverage of philanthropies, and receiving a grant from the Outrider Foundation and Carnegie Corporation of New York to deepen our reporting on nuclear security issues. As always, AP retains complete editorial control in these and all collaborations with outside groups.

2023 was an unprecedented year of industry wide recognition for AP journalism. AP received its first-ever Academy Award for the documentary we produced with Frontline, “20 Days in Mariupol,” in addition to the BAFTA for best documentary, two Critics Choice Documentary Awards, a Cinema Eye Honors Award, a duPont-Columbia Award, and dozens more. The reporting on which the film was based earned AP the prestigious Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.

AP also received a Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Photography for coverage of the Ukraine War. We also were honored with a Polk Award, two Overseas Press Club Awards, a Peabody Award, the World Press Photo of the Year Award, a Cabot Prize, five Emmy Award nominations, and more.

We accomplished all of this by remaining steadfast in our mission to report the facts. As we have for the better part of two centuries, AP again provided audiences around the world with unbiased, factual journalism. No matter the changes 2024 may bring to our industry and our world, AP will be there as it has been for 178 years.

Gracia Martore

Daisy Veerasingham
President and CEO

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