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Fast AP response to UNLV shooting beats competitors

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Las Vegas reporter Rio Yamat spotted word of a shooting at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, putting into motion resources from near and afar to report on a big story in a city that’s home to the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

Yamat wrote up an alert series and worked to confirm details, before joining Las Vegas reporter Ken Ritter and videographer Ty O’Neil who had already been dispatched to campus. Together, they gathered emotional comments from staff and students, one of whom said, “It’s the moment you call your parents and tell them you love them.”

O’Neil smartly provided live shots far away from the media staging area, providing customers with unique vantage points.

Las Vegas photographer John Locher, who was in photo training in LA, was clutch from afar, immediately calling member newspapers who were willing to share photographs with the AP and then took an early flight home to photograph the campus in person.

The story was one of the most-viewed stories of the week. One piece had more than 910,000 views and counting. More than three-quarters of the traffic came from Google, which shows the stories were well-optimized on the digital side, with snappy headlines.

AP also was fast on getting up live for video, and it was well-used by customers, beating rivals. The New York Times at one point was relying on the AP live feed.

Play was huge, as shown by the metrics. An NBC staffer complimented O’Neil at the scene for the speed at which the AP was getting out the news in all formats.

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