Best of AP — First Winner


Global teamwork gives AP scoops on plea deal of Julian Assange 

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange waves after landing at RAAF air base Fairbairn in Canberra, Australia, June 26 2024. The abrupt guilty plea by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was the culmination of negotiations that began a year and a half ago and accelerated in recent months. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft, File)

Julian Assange WikiLeaks

Tokyo, Washington and Australia. New Zealand, Bangkok, London and Saipan. When the global AP mobilizes to ensure an important story has smart and comprehensive coverage, magic can happen. And it certainly did with the coverage of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s guilty plea and its worldwide repercussions.

When news broke that one of the most mysterious and polarizing figures of the information age was going to make a surprise guilty plea on a Pacific island, staffers on four continents banded together to give the AP repeated scoops and coverage of unmatched depth and insight.

Washington reporters Alanna Durkin Richer and Eric Tucker kicked off the coverage with a fully contextualized story that moved alongside the dramatic first alert, also providing a sidebar explaining Assange’s significance. Staffers around the world shadowed Assange’s journey, providing competition-beating breaking news, video, and images — from a U.K. prison to a stopover in Bangkok, to a court in the American territory of Saipan, and finally home to Australia.

Perhaps the clearest sign of the competitive edge was customer usage of AP’s stories and video. Key alerts, which AP produced regularly, were ahead of the competition. This meant digital news sites around the world led with AP’s coverage.

For this rare and coordinated performance, Mari Yamaguchi, Eugene Hoshiko, Mayuko Ono, Charlotte Graham-McLay, Rod McGuirk, Rick Rycroft, Moussa Moussa, Kimberly Esmores, Alanna Durkin Richer, Eric Tucker, Jintamas Saksornchai, Sakchai Lalitkanjan, Haruka Nuga and Jill Lawless earn this week’s Best of AP — First Winner.

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