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AP lands Newsmaker interview with fugitive auto executive Ghosn

Former Nissan executive Carlos Ghosn speaks during an interview with the Associated Press, in Dbayeh, north of Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

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Senior producer Jeff Schaeffer, Paris, had been maneuvering for an interview with Carlos Ghosn ever since the automotive executive escaped Japan inside a box 17 months ago. He plied sources from Ghosn’s days at the top of Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi, and insisted that AP wanted a no-holds-barred, in-person session with the man once feted as a superstar and whose career came crashing down when he was arrested in Japan on accusations of financial misconduct.

Schaeffer’s tenacity and insistence on high standards won AP an exceptional three-language interview that was Ghosn’s most comprehensive to date,making headlines on three continents on the eve of his latest legal drama. This was also a pioneering effort in AP’s Newsmaker Interview initiative and a stellar example of teamwork across AP’s formats and departments,including all the others in the room for the interview: regional news director Zeina Karam,photographer Hussein Malla,video journalist Alex Turnbull, senior producer Fay Abuelgasim and camera operator Fadi Tawil.

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Paris senior producer Jeffrey Schaeffer, seated at right in blue shirt, interviews fugitive auto executive Carlos Ghosn in Dbayeh, north of Beirut, Lebanon, May 25, 2021, joined by AP colleagues Zeina Karam, Fadi Tawil, Fay Abuelgasim and Alex Turnbull. – AP Photo / Hussein Malla
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