Best of AP — Honorable Mention


Sharp planning and long-term vision put AP ahead on the surge to the right in EU elections

A damaged election poster shows German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Frankfurt, Germany, Monday, June 10, 2024. AP PHOTO / MICHAEL PROBST

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Thanks to their unique perspective and deep knowledge of all 27 EU countries, AP’s Brussels staff saw what was coming before most of the rest of the world. Back in 2022, Raf Casert identified multiple European countries where far-right views long seen as toxic were being normalized. That led to a Pulitzer Center-funded project tracing threats to democratic values in Europe, which created the EU as a bulwark against fascism and authoritarianism after World War II. That reporting — from Slovakia to the Netherlands and beyond — informed our decisions across Europe about where to focus AP resources ahead of and during the elections. An AP Q-and-A about the EU by our expert Brussels team ensured journalists and editors across Europe in all formats were well-prepared for the elections. Sharp coordination by Sylvain Plazy, Virginia Mayo, Stefania Vourazeri and Vicki Ferrar in video planning ensured that AP was in the right places on election day when far right parties or other parties inspired by the far right performed well. Digital staff and bureaus around Europe produced an interactive graphic highlighting developments in all 27 countries. And our coverage of France’s surprise snap elections and the big blow to Germany’s leadership was informed by past reporting in the democracy project. The breadth of coverage — from a dozen countries ahead of the elections and all 27 countries on election day itself — was exceptional. Video coverage on the day drew thousands of hits from multiple countries, and we ran more than 14 hours of Lives that dominated European and other broadcasts throughout the day. Text stories unpacking the results, and their impact on the drew in tens of thousands of new readers to AP platforms.

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