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APME announces winners of 2018 contest for AP journalists

NEW YORK (AP) — Coverage of news events that tested the human spirit and challenged how we see ourselves won top honors in the 2018 Associated Press Media Editors Awards for AP staff.

Hurricane Harvey, the collapse of the caliphate in Mosul and the plight of Rohingya refugees all showcased AP's ability to put together powerhouse teams of journalists anywhere in the world and produce award-winning work.

There were also individual honors for journalists who single-handedly made a difference with their efforts.

Sarah Rankin of the AP's Richmond, Virginia, bureau was recognized for excellence by a staffer 30 years old or younger for a body of work that included breaking coverage of the Charlottesville white nationalist rally that turned violent. "Rankin combines tenacious reporting with elegant writing and multimedia skills," judges said.

Rachel La Corte of AP's Olympia, Washington, bureau was honored for her relentless reporting on state lawmakers who claimed they were exempt from public disclosure laws. "Through her reporting," judges said, "AP got a powerful coalition of news organizations in Washington state to bring suit in this legitimate case of interest to the public."

And Jae C. Hong won both the top award and honorable mention for photo feature stories: first place for his photos of homeless people in Los Angeles, and honorable mention for photos of people who eke out a living dressing as superheroes for tourists on Hollywood Boulevard. Judges - who did not know both series were by the same photographer - were struck by the unusual access to the subjects, which could only have been earned by putting in long stretches of time with them.

The annual AP contest honors the best staff work in news, multimedia and photography. Committees of judges are made up of national board members of the Associated Press Media Editors. Winners will be recognized at the ASNE-APME News Leadership Conference, September 11-12 in Austin, Texas.

"The breadth and depth of the work that The Associated Press produces every year is remarkable," said Thomas Koetting, deputy managing editor of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and coordinator of this year's contest judging. "The judges were impressed and inspired."

The winners:

DEADLINE REPORTING

Winner: Staff, "Hurricane Harvey and Its Aftermath"

Honorable Mention: Staff, "Las Vegas Shootings"

Honorable Mention: Staff, "California Wildfires"

SAMUEL G. BLACKMAN AWARD FOR ENTERPRISE REPORTING

Winner: Staff, "Collapse of the Caliphate: Triumph and Tragedy in Mosul"

Honorable Mention: Mitch Weiss, Holbrook Mohr and Peter Prengaman, "Broken Faith"

FEATURE WRITING, SINGLE STORY OR SERIES

Winner: Jason Dearen, "The Sinking of the El Faro"

Honorable mention: Claire Galofaro, "Trump Country"

JOHN WINN AND MARGO C. MILLER AWARD

Winner: Sarah Rankin

STATE NEWS REPORTING

Winner: Rachel La Corte

BEST USE OF VIDEO

Winner: Renata Brito and Silvia Izquierdo, "Killed in Crossfire: Rio de Janeiro's Young Victims of Violence"

Honorable Mention: Staff, "Ferah's World"

BEST DIGITAL STORYTELLING

Winner: Staff, "Little Rock Nine"

Honorable mention: Staff, "Homeless: Crisis on the Coast"

PHOTOGRAPHY - NEWS SINGLE SHOT

Winner: Adel Hana, "Wounded Youth in Gaza"

Honorable Mention: Dar Yasin, "Watching the Funeral Procession"

Honorable Mention: Ben Curtis, "Kenya Election Violence"

PHOTOGRAPHY - NEWS STORY

Winner: Bernat Armangue, Dar Yasin and A.M. Ahad, "Rohingya: A Crisis"

Honorable Mention: Felipe Dana, "War in Mosul"

PHOTOGRAPHY - FEATURE SINGLE SHOT

Winner: David Goldman, "Melting Arctic Polar Bear"

PHOTOGRAPHY - FEATURE STORY

Winner: Jae C. Hong, "Homeless: Crisis on the Coast (Los Angeles)"

Honorable Mention: Jae C. Hong, "Street Superheroes"