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AP’s Trump coverage excels thanks to preparation and flawless teamwork under deadline pressure

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When former President Donald Trump was indicted on felony charges Aug. 1 for working to overturn the 2020 election results in the run-up to the Jan. 6 violent riot at the U.S. Capitol, the AP team was ready.

Text reporters, editors, producers, photographers, video journalists and the digital team spent the past several weeks — if not more — preparing for the moment so the AP could not only be fast but also deliver robust and ambitious coverage that highlighted the deep expertise of those on the team.

As a result, the AP team produced nearly flawless coverage across formats from the moment of the indictment through Trump’s arraignment and not-guilty plea two days later and beyond.

The AP’s push alert on the indictment was ahead of many other media, and live video was already rolling outside the court, and prepped video pieces moved immediately after. File photos flew to the wire and were quickly followed up with fresh photos of the indictment. Washington reporter Eric Tucker filed update after update as White House correspondent Zeke Miller swiftly crafted alerts and reporters in Washington and throughout the U.S. dove into the indictment itself, quickly analyzing the key parts. The team produced a live update, takeaways, a look at fake electors and more that night.

Two days later, the team came together and did it all again for Trump’s arraignment. The AP team also showcased their deep sourcing and expertise throughout the week with coverage that stood apart including stories by national politics reporter Jill Colvin on how the 2024 election could become a referendum on whether Trump should go to prison; and congressional correspondent Lisa Mascaro on how Republicans were largely staying silent and instead were supporting Trump as he seeks reelection.

It takes dozens of AP journalists to excel at such a big story — and that is exactly what this team did.

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