Best of the Week


Deep preparation and experience put AP ahead on Mladic verdict

Former Bosnian Serb military chief Ratko Mladic imitates a photographer as he sits in court in The Hague, Netherlands, June 8, 2021. Mladic, the military chief known as the “Butcher of Bosnia” for orchestrating genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in the Balkan nation’s 1992-95 war, lost his final legal battle when U.N. judges rejected his appeals and affirmed his life sentence. , where the United Nations court delivers its verdict in the appeal of Mladic against his convictions for genocide and other crimes and his life sentence for masterminding atrocities throughout the Bosnian war. (AP Photo / Peter Dejong, Pool)

Ap 21158823964031 Hm Ss I
Bosnian Serb commander Gen. Ratko Mladic at Sarajevo Airport, May 17, 1993. – AP Photo / Jerome Delay

Michael Corder, Peter Dejong and Aleks Furtula in The Hague; Eldar Emric, Almir Alic and Suleyman Kllokoqi in Srebrenica; Voja Stjepanovic and Radul Rodovanovic in Banja Luka; and Ivana Bzganovic in Belgrade teamed up to provide exceptional coverage in all formats of the final verdict for Bosnian Serb military chief Ratko Mladic, in which U.N. judges rejected his appeals on charges of orchestrating genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, affirming his life sentence.

Chief correspondent Corder worked closely with AP colleagues in the Balkans in the days leading up to the verdict to prepare for all the possible outcomes, preparing alerts and urgents for each, as well as for the possibility that victims’ groups could leak the verdict early. Knowing that the victims’ representatives are not always accurate, Corder held off on the alert until AP had the full verdict from the judges, and other major world media followed his lead.

Photographer Dejong,who had covered Mladic’s appearances at the court over several years,patiently waited for the one moment during the long verdict when the ex-commander made a hand gesture — holding up his fingers as if clicking a shutter to mimic the photographers fixed on him. The image circled the world.

AP had four different live shots up for a good part of the day on AP Direct and Live Choice,compared with a single courtroom feed that a major competitor accessed at the last minute. AP put out a video edit of the verdict 44 minutes ahead of the competition,and was much faster with reaction from the victims and their families in Sarajevo and Srebrenica,and from Serb veterans, comrades of Mladic and people in Belgrade.


Contact us