Best of AP — Second Winner


AP offers comprehensive and competitive coverage of devastating flooding in Southern Brazil

Cars sit on a submerged road in an area flooded by heavy rain in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul state, Brazil, May 8, 2024. AP PHOTO / ANDRE PENNER

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After the skies dumped enough rain to fill the airport and bus station of one of Brazil’s largest cities with water, the devastation was widespread. The challenge of telling the world about the floods was just beginning.

With Brazil’s southern state of Rio Grande do Sul completely flooded, AP journalists deployed to a neighboring state and drove six hours to reach the affected area. What they found was a scenario of complete devastation and extremely limited mobility. In spite of that, they were able to reveal the scope of the tragedy that many had been slow to understand.

The team, whose work was supplemented by others reporting remotely and sourcing user-generated content, showed how hundreds of thousands of people were forced from their homes, many of them into shelters, with poor people disproportionately affected. They reported on the fake news spread by political propagandists to undermine rescue efforts. They told the tales of people working to reunite pet owners with thousands of lost pets and chronicled the rescue of a horse stranded on a rooftop that became a symbol of hope for a battered region.

The work was strong across all formats, from a suite of video offerings to nearly a dozen text stories and more than 150 photos.

For delivering a strong cross-format package of offerings despite logistical challenges, the team of Lucas Dumphreys, Mauricio Savarese, Andre Penner, Tatiana Pollastri, Leo LaValle, Gabriela Sá, Carlos Macedo and Eleonore Hughes are this week’s Best of AP — Second Winner.

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