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AP team captures first year of Joe Biden’s presidency with depth, humor and sharp analysis

President Joe Biden leaves the East Room of the White House after speaking about the coronavirus pandemic, Aug. 3, 2021. Biden’s first year in office has seen lofty ambitions grounded by the unrelenting pandemic, a tough hand in Congress, a harrowing end to an overseas war and rising fears for the future of democracy itself. (AP Photo / Susan Walsh)

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AP’s White House reporters synced up with colleagues in politics, polling, video, radio, photo and graphics to deliver a comprehensive portrait of President Joe Biden’s first year in office.

The centerpiece story by White House reporter Zeke Miller and reporter Cal Woodward deftly captured “a year of lofty ambitions grounded by the unrelenting pandemic,a tough hand in Congress,a harrowing end to an overseas war and rising fears for the future of democracy itself.” The story was both sweeping and conversational, giving readers the full scope of Biden’s experience in the first year.

Other stories plumbed the track records of Vice President Kamala Harris, first lady Jill Biden and second gentleman Doug Emhoff. After months of lobbying,White House reporter Darlene Superville and national political reporter Will Weissert scored exclusive interviews with the first lady and Emhoff. The Jill Biden profile was wildly popular,with about 150,000 page views; still going strong a week later.

And while other news outlets focused on specific issues,AP’s all-formats team assessed the entirety of the first year and showed the interconnection between issues.

— An AP poll delved into the electorate’s thoughts on Biden, in a story from White House reporter Aamer Madhani and polling journalist Hannah Fingerhut. The AP-NORC story drew more than 128,000 readers.
— Chief political writer Steve Peoples captured the tough political dynamics that Biden has teed up heading into a midterm election year.
— White House reporter Josh Boak added a smart economic analysis that explored why people feel so glum about the economy, even when their personal finances are solid (answer: inflation).

The White House crew also joined forces on short takeaways that sketched out what America has learned about the president over the past year,including the impression that he’s not really wild about spending time in the White House,even if he likes the job.

Sagar Meghani,Jackie Quinn and Mike Gracia produced radio packages while Nathan Ellgren,Hilary Powell and Kelly Daschle produced video packages that were well-received by broadcast and online clients. And Washington photo editors Jon Elswick and Wayne Partlow supplied a year’s worth of photos to illustrate the stories.

For outstanding teamwork resulting in an authoritative package both insightful and intimate,deftly capturing the first year of an American presidency, AP’s White House team is Best of the Week — Second Winner.

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