Best of AP — Honorable Mention


Fast, nimble response puts AP far ahead on major Beirut fire

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Black smoke rises from a fire in the port of Beirut, Sept. 10. 2020. – AP Photo / Hussein Malla

The Beirut team of Hassan Ammar, photographer; Hussein Malla, chief photographer; and Fadi Tawil, video journalist delivered fast, outstanding coverage as a major fire broke out at Beirut’s port, site of last month’s massive explosion.

Ammar was nearby when the fire broke out and within minutes was streaming live video using the Bambuser app. Malla and Tawil also rushed to the scene, Malla shooting stills and sending direct to AP’s Middle East photo desk from his camera while Tawil set up a second live shot. AP was streaming live video for more than an hour before a competitive agency had its live shot up.

AP’s video edits were also superior and much faster than the opposition,running quick edits of the fire,helicopters dropping water and two powerful edits shot with a drone,captured by Malla,who deftly switched between his camera and operating his drone to capture aerial photos and videos.

And thanks to Ammar’s early response,AP’s news alert moved at least 20 minutes ahead of other major news outlets, further cementing the competitive advantage.

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An army helicopter drops water on a fire in the port of Beirut, Sept. 10, 2020, in warehouses already heavily damaged by last month’s massive explosion at the site. – AP Photo / Hassan Ammar
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