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All-formats team out front on death of Seoul mayor

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AP’s Seoul bureau scored repeated beats in all formats when news broke that Seoul’s mayor had gone missing amid a sexual harassment complaint, prompting a massive search in a wooded area in northern Seoul.

Quick work and direction from senior producer Jung-yoon Kim made sure that videojournalists Yong-Jun Chang and Yong-ho Kim, and photographer Jin-man Lee, were the first journalists from a Western news organization in multiple positions to best capture details of the late night search by hundreds of officers. Chang was up live with exclusive video well ahead of other agencies, and a picture by Lee was featured prominently in Korea’s JoongAng Daily newspaper, a major win for a foreign news outlet.

AP’s late-night news alerts by correspondent Hyung-jin Kim and reporter Kim Tong-hyung – that the body had been found – were well ahead of the competition, and the print story led front pages on websites worldwide. AP was alone among international media with early independent confirmation of the discovery, patching together details from repeated calls to Seoul City government, local ward officials and the police. The BBC cited AP’s reporting, and the breaking story was AP’s most tweeted piece of the day.

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Mourners weep at a memorial altar for late Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon at Seoul City Hall Plaza in South Korea, July 11, 2020. The sudden death of Seoul’s mayor, reportedly implicated in a sexual harassment complaint, has prompted an outpouring of public sympathy even as it has raised questions about a man who built his career as a reform-minded politician and self-described feminist. – AP Photo / Ahn Young-joon
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