PHOENIX (AP) — The Associated Press has named Anna Jo Bratton as deputy director of newsgathering for the U.S. West, a new position overseeing breaking news and enterprise across all media formats in 13 states.
The appointment was announced Wednesday by Anna Johnson, AP’s news director of the West region. Bratton is based in Phoenix, AP’s regional publishing center for the western United States.
Bratton will lead newsgathering for all media formats for the region, with an emphasis on driving the top breaking news and enterprise stories each day and working closely with journalists across the West to deliver distinctive stories.
“Anna Jo has been a steady hand and a critical leader for the AP in the western states for a lot of years,” AP Managing Editor Brian Carovillano said. “In this role, her strong news judgment and creativity will have an even bigger impact on the AP’s global news report.”
The AP is merging its text, photo, video and interactive journalism operations at each of its U.S. regional publishing centers as part of a restructuring similar to one the cooperative has already completed overseas. The reorganized AP will be fully cross-format, with multimedia journalists and integrated editing desks that emphasize video and social media reporting to a streamlined management structure.
“Anna Jo is a dynamic news leader who has a strong track record of embracing innovation and building strong relationships across formats and departments,” Johnson said. “These skills will be crucial as she helps lead the West region as it transitions into an all-formats operation.”
Bratton has been the West Region’s assistant editor since 2010 and has experience as a reporter, editor and leader across the United States. As assistant editor, Bratton oversaw a team of about a dozen editors in Phoenix and has been at the helm of some of the region’s most important stories, including the deadly warehouse fire in Oakland, California, in 2016, the Arizona wildfire that killed 19 firefighters in 2013 and the Colorado theater shooting in 2012. She also has played a lead role in the AP’s coverage of marijuana legalization and gay marriage.
Bratton grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska, where she worked her first newspaper job as an obituary clerk at the Lincoln Journal Star. After working at newspapers in St. Louis and Des Moines, Iowa, Bratton joined the AP in 2007 and was a political reporter in Omaha, Nebraska, until she moved to Phoenix in 2009 as one of the founding members of the AP’s West region editing desk. From 2009 to 2010, Bratton was the desk’s weekend supervisor before she was promoted to assistant editor in 2010.
As assistant editor, Bratton also helped transform the region and the editing desk into an innovative hub that has been at the forefront of using social media and efforts to shoot and edit more video for digital platforms. She also has been a key editor of the AP’s Stylebook and recently oversaw training efforts across the company to ensure the AP’s stories are written for a global audience.
Bratton earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2003.
The AP’s West region oversees news in these states: California, Colorado, Arizona, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, Hawaii and Alaska.