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Nobel Prize winners speak first to AP due to planning, preassignments

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The groundwork for AP’s success was laid by Keyton, who over nine years of covering the Nobels has perfected a system in which key roles including writers, editors and live Zoom producers are designated in advance.

The system allows AP to react quickly as soon as the winners’ names are read out in Stockholm and Oslo. New York-based science reporter Maddie Burakoff was the first to get comment from science winner Katalin Karikó, followed by a live Zoom interview of both her and co-winner Drew Weissman. Using an old-fashioned phone book, video journalist Nicolas Garriga located physics winner Pierre Agostini and was the first to interview him, even before he had spoken to the Nobel committee. Copenhagen correspondent Jan M. Olsen secured images from a student who took a photo of physics co-winner Anne L’Huillier teaching class at Lund University, moments after she won.

The first on-camera interviews with two of the chemistry laureates were secured by three video journalists Rodrique Ngowi, Shelby Lum and Daniel Kozin. Ngowi and photojournalist Steven Senne went to the home of winner Moungi Bawendi in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Ngowi reached co-winner Alexei Ekimov on the phone through a building manager and discovered he was in Florida, where Kozin and photojournalist Wilfredo Lee found him. Lum interviewed co-winner Louis Brus after knocking on doors in New York.

Using his cellphone for a live Bambuzer feed, newsperson Michael Casey was the first to interview economics prize winner Claudia Goldin, at her home in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Freelancer Josh Reynolds got the first photos of Goldin after she won.

Explainers and sidebars focused on the chemistry prize leak, developments in Iran between Nobel Peace Prizes two decades apart and what happened to imprisoned laureates. Another story described why the Ukrainian president was an unlikely winner of the Peace Prize.

Thanks to robust prep and speedy deployments, AP’s Nobel coverage team earns Best of the Week — Second Winner.

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