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Teamwork pushes AP ahead on Trump’s federal indictment

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AP staff and freelancers scrambled to Florida and set up an ad hoc newsroom inside and outside the federal courthouse in Miami, and many others in Washington, U.S. News and beyond dove in to provide support and expertise after the surprise news that the Trump documents case had been moved from Washington to Florida by prosecutors.

One example of the exemplary teamwork: When the court said access to the courtrooms would be on a first-come, first-serve basis, and a line outside the courthouse started forming more than 24 hours before Trump’s scheduled appearance, AP staff across departments including News and Finance set up a rotation to hold places in the line including during the overnight hours.

As a result, the AP was able to get four text reporters in the courthouse, which proved critical for getting the news out quickly.

Photo and video teams (featuring photographers Chris O’Meara, Rebecca Blackwell, Lynne Sladky, Wilfredo Lee, Gerald Herbert, Marta Lavandier, Evan Vucci and Alex Brandon and the video team of Cody Jackson, Daniel Kozin, Mark Vancleave, Stephen Smith, Laura Bargfeld, Haven Daley) scoured the area around the courthouse, the airport and Trump’s nearby golf resort for days to make sure the AP could get the best shots. 

The text team at the court (Alanna Durkin, Adriana Gomez Licon, Kate Brumback and Curt Anderson) devised a plan with Law Enforcement News Editor Michael Balsamo to run outside to waiting cellphones and found a rare pay phone that worked inside and quickly and efficiently dictated the key moments to Terry Spencer that put the AP ahead of the competition. 

In Washington, a team anchored by mainbar writer Eric Tucker filed countless fast updates from the moment Trump said he was indicted through all the action when he made his first court appearance.

The court-appearance mainbar was the most-viewed story with 503,000 page views. Another notable piece, with a perfect engagement score of 100, was by Nick Riccardi and Gary Fields about Trump’s promise of payback following years of attacks on democratic institutions.

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