ATLANTA (AP) — The Associated Press has named Ravi Nessman regional news director for the U.S. South, a new position overseeing AP's journalism and news operations across formats in 13 states.
The appointment was announced Monday by Brian Carovillano, AP's vice president for U.S. News. Nessman is based in Atlanta, AP's regional hub for the South.
AP is merging text, photo, video and interactive journalism at each of its four U.S. hubs in a reorganization similar to one completed overseas. Nessman will oversee 13 states in the South, which will become fully cross-format, with multimedia journalists and integrated editing desks that emphasize video and social media, along with a streamlined management structure.
"Ravi has great experience and the leadership needed for this important position," said executive editor Sally Buzbee. "He has traveled the world for AP and spent the last two years consolidating what he has learned to direct the South on important stories for the AP, including the church shooting in Charleston and the killings at an Orlando nightclub. He is well suited to lead this region for the AP through this critical transition."
Nessman, 44, has been based at the South Desk since 2014, first as deputy regional editor and then as acting regional editor. He has extensive experience working as a journalist internationally and in the United States.
Nessman, a New Jersey native, joined AP in 1994 as a reporter in Chicago. He worked in New Jersey and Philadelphia and as an editor on the International Desk in New York before embarking on an international journalism career.
As a foreign correspondent, he covered many of the defining stories of the era. He reported from Afghanistan in 2001; was embedded with the Marines during the 2003 invasion of Iraq; led AP's coverage of the AIDS pandemic in Africa; and covered the deaths of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and the funeral of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. He served as news editor in southern Africa, correspondent in Jerusalem, bureau chief in Sri Lanka and South Asia bureau chief.
His work won awards for his coverage of the bloody end to Sri Lanka's civil war, the Israel-Palestinian conflict, the fight against polio in India and Bhutto's assassination. In 2013, he teamed up with Kristen Gelineau, bureau chief for Australia, to win the APME award for feature writing for the story of a young man's quest to find his mother after they were separated decades earlier in India and he was adopted by a family in Australia. That tale is commemorated in the Oscar-nominated film "Lion."
In 2013, Nessman become a Nieman fellow at Harvard University, studying the intersection between poverty and religion.
Since moving to Atlanta in 2014, Nessman has helped lead coverage of the Charleston Church shooting, the attack on a nightclub in Orlando, the response to North Carolina's so-called bathroom bill and the societal transformations that gave rise to the successful candidacy of Donald Trump. He has worked to give AP's stories a more global appeal and pushed for everything from snappier headlines to more visual content from traditional text reporters.
The AP's South region encompasses news in 13 states: Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.
Nessman earned a bachelor's degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.