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AP announces winners of 2023 Oliver S. Gramling Awards

The 30th Oliver S. Gramling Awards, Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2023, in New York. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)

The 30th Oliver S. Gramling Awards

NEW YORK – Associated Press journalists and staffers from China, Ukraine, the U.S. and beyond are among the winners of the 2023 Oliver S. Gramling Awards, the highest internal honors of The Associated Press.

Created in 1994 to recognize AP staffers for professional excellence, the Gramling Awards are decided each year by a panel of judges from across the news cooperative.

The $10,000 awards come from a fund established by the estate of the late AP broadcast executive Oliver S. Gramling.

The judges this year evaluated submissions in three categories: journalism, achievement and spirit.

“This year’s Gramling Award winners span four continents and seven countries. They produced outstanding journalism despite difficult reporting conditions, motivated and supported their colleagues, and helped transform the way we produce the news,” said Daisy Veerasingham, AP president and CEO. “Most of all, each winner advanced the power of fact-based journalism.”

$10,000 Oliver S. Gramling Achievement Award

• AP’s Media Asset Management team

The Media Asset Management team’s implementation of a cloud-based video production system revolutionized the way AP ingests, edits and publishes video. The cross-departmental project represents the gold standard for how AP drives and delivers change. The team is represented by: Mohac Bilecen, system engineer, London; Annette Feldman, deputy director of metadata technology, New York; David Hoad, senior director of technology operations, London; Mara Madden, senior director of technology solutions, New York; Niko Price, deputy director of global video, London; Paul Redhouse, video technology manager, London; Tomislav Skaro, global video news manager, Zagreb, Croatia; and Alan Wintroub, director of development for enterprise application services, San Jose, California.

$10,000 Oliver S. Gramling Spirit Award

• Efrem Lukatsky, photographer, Kyiv

Lukatsky’s remarkable work as a photographer, his professionalism and his dedication to AP’s mission has been indispensable to the AP. Lukatsky coordinates AP’s coverage in Ukraine, running the photo operation from AP’s Kyiv bureau. Since the full-scale Russian invasion in 2022, Lukatsky has captured striking images of the war in his home country and welcomed and supported AP journalists on assignment in Ukraine.

$10,000 Oliver S. Gramling Spirit Award

• Ndeye Sene Mbengue, news assistant, Dakar

Mbengue’s unstoppable work and enthusiasm have helped AP remain on top of news in West Africa. From managing and keeping the office working in a country dealing many challenges, to helping with reporting and translations, Mbengue has always been an essential part of AP in the region. Her contributions overall, and specifically her assistance in the last few months to cover violent protests and unrest in Senegal, helped the small group of AP journalists in the country remain on the ground and cover that important story.

$10,000 Oliver S. Gramling Spirit Award

• Srdjan Nedeljkovic, video journalist, Athens

Nedeljkovic is an outstanding video journalist, whose contributions extend to fostering a collaborative work environment for his colleagues. He is praised as the backbone of AP’s video operation, both in Athens and beyond. Nedeljkovic’s colleagues describe him as the model of teamwork, always willing to help and provide guidance and mentorship to colleagues across formats. When he is not on assignment, Nedeljkovic plays an integral role as Athens video journalist.

$10,000 Oliver S. Gramling Spirit Award

• Yu Bing, editorial assistant, Beijing

Yu Bing’s enduring professionalism and expertise, along with his unwavering commitment to shedding light on China as an editorial assistant in Beijing, have been the stable core of AP’s China coverage. Over the years, Yu Bing has helped with coverage of Chinese crewed space launches, Olympics, the birth and explosive growth of China’s smartphone industry, archaeological discoveries, solar energy and electric car industries, trade, pop culture and other stories.

$10,000 Oliver S. Gramling Journalism Awards

• Federal Bureau of Prisons reporting team

Mike Balsamo and Michael Sisak delivered powerful reporting over two years that uncovered horrendous abuses, systemic corruption and negligence in the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Prisons. Their stories resulted in changes at nearly every level of the federal prison system, including at the very top: the head of the bureau resigned. Their journalism led to increased oversight and scrutiny of the agency, gave a voice to the powerless, and held the powerful to account.

$10,000 Oliver S. Gramling Journalism Awards

• Elliot Spagat, correspondent, San Diego

Spagat built AP’s immigration coverage into an award-winning global team, elevating the news agency’s reporting from both sides of the U.S. border. He has consistently delivered informative and impactful journalism, and held leaders accountable on the topic of immigration. His work ethic and passion for getting the story are second to none. Spagat is also known for his steady leadership and gracious mentorship of others.

2023 Gramling Award winners pose with AP President and CEO Daisy Veerasingham at the Staff Recognition Awards dinner in New York, Oct. 24, 2023. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)

About AP

The Associated Press is an independent global news organization dedicated to factual reporting. Founded in 1846, AP today remains the most trusted source of fast, accurate, unbiased news in all formats and the essential provider of the technology and services vital to the news business. More than half the world’s population sees AP journalism every day. Online:


Lauren Easton
Vice President of Corporate Communications
The Associated Press

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Media Relations Manager
The Associated Press

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