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Source work, teamwork net scoop on Biden-Putin call

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It was one of the most highly anticipated moments of the opening week of President Joe Biden’s term: the president’s first conversation with Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

And AP had it first.

The scoop came together through a combination of collaboration and source work. It started with a tip to diplomatic writer Matthew Lee in Washington that the call between Biden and Putin would be coming soon. White House reporter Jonathan Lemire confirmed the tip with other sources in the administration, then secured an exclusive interview with a senior administration official previewing the call and arranged to receive the first readout once it concluded. Within minutes of the call ending, AP was on the wire ahead of all U.S. competitors but also ahead of the Kremlin and Russian news services.

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