Multiformat journalists and staffers from around the world are among the winners of the 2016 Oliver S. Gramling Awards, the highest internal honor of The Associated Press.
- Angela Charlton, bureau chief for France, the Benelux nations and North Africa
When teams of extremists hit cafes, a concert hall and the national stadium in Paris last November, leaving dozens dead and hundreds wounded, AP was ready, not only to cover spot developments in all formats but also to break news about the investigation. The latter stemmed largely from the hard work put in by Charlton. Over 18 months of turmoil and seemingly endless attacks in Western Europe, Charlton has shown herself to be a steady, unflappable leader, not only working closely with photo and video colleagues, but also editing and writing compelling stories that put the terrorist attacks into perspective.
- Felipe Dana, staff photographer, Rio de Janeiro
Whether it was his touching portrayal of a mother caring for an infant afflicted with microcephaly caused by the Zika virus, an intimate look at life inside a Rio de Janeiro slum, or his searing examination of crack addiction in one of Latin America’s postcard cities, Dana seeks out the humanity, humor, hope and dignity of the subjects on the other side of his lens. The Brazil native will go to greater lengths to get the photo, such ashis heartbreaking image of a microcephalic baby in a bucket, which became synonymous with the Zika outbreak, and he finds the nuances that others might miss.
- Julie Pace, White House correspondent, Washington
An ace at both the big spot stories and exclusive news that AP breaks, Pace does it all on an intensely competitive beat. Yet in this tumultuous election year, Pace has done even more: She has helped to guide the political team’s reporting, provided key source reporting of her own that broke news repeatedly, expertly wrote debate, primary night, convention and campaign running stories and produced strong trend enterprise. With unwaveringly accurate political judgment, Pace has kept AP dominant while also representing the cooperative by appearing regularly on CNN, Fox News and MSNBC.
- Jay Reeves, correspondent, Birmingham, Alabama
Alabama-based Reeves is not only a strong reporter, but one with the talent to shape his material into compelling stories. Along with these bedrock skills comes an inherent decency and respectful approach that prompt sources to open up to him and make his stories that much more alive. That’s particularly notable on core Southern subjects like race, when interview subjects can be extremely leery about talking to journalists, much less being open and honest with them. After 30 years with AP, Reeves has become a multiformat reporter, shooting photos and video to complement his writing.
- Alan Bradshaw, head of international archive, London
Working in the international video archive department, Bradshaw is used to dealing with production companies that already know what they need. But in one case during the past year, Bradshaw identified a need that a customer didn’t know it had when he created a new product: the AP Gulf Film and Video Archive Collection. His entrepreneurial thinking and innovative business approach led to over $1 million in new revenue that went straight to the cooperative’s bottom line, because the new collection was composed of material already in AP’s archives. Bradshaw is now taking this model to other institutions in the Middle East.
- Mehmet Guzel, video journalist, Istanbul
From driver to assistant cameraman to video journalist and overall cross-format jack-of-all-trades, Guzel has tirelessly proven his unwavering commitment and dedication to AP’s newsgathering mission over the past 17-plus years. He has become an integral part of AP’s Turkey operations, eager to help his team without needing to be asked, and frequently using his trademark phrase, “OK, I do for you.” Described as focused, relentless and tenaciously professional, Guzel radiates a smile and jovial demeanor that have opened doors and on countless occasions gotten AP access it otherwise would have lacked.
- Jayne Usher, expenses and advances accountant, London
One thing is clear to AP staffers across the globe: “There is no stopping Jayne.” Since joining AP in 2010, Usher has managed more than 500 accounts while essentially acting as an emergency service for AP, jumping on a plane on her personal time on many occasions to drop off cash or equipment for those covering breaking news across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. She is committed to aiding AP’s staffers in the field, and routinely goes above and beyond as a problem solver for colleagues in London and elsewhere.
- Helene Franchineau, video journalist, Beijing
Franchineau will use her scholarship to study Arabic at the Sijal Institute in Jordan. A French national, she was sent to Brussels earlier this year to cover the terrorist attacks. While conducting interviews, Franchineau realized that not speaking Arabic made reporting on the ground more difficult. Studying the language will add to Franchineau’s comprehensive language skills, including Mandarin, and will allow her to report more efficiently during future assignments across Europe and the Middle East.
- Youyou Zhou, digital news producer, New York
Zhou will use her scholarship to pay for computing and processing courses at Rice and Stanford universities. Since joining AP two years ago, she has become the go-to interactive developer for some of AP’s most ambitious data visualization projects, including the “Divided America” series. As one of Zhou’s managers put it, “She builds tools that make journalists’ jobs easier and that steer eyeballs to the best AP content.” Her studies will add to her already strong existing skillset and increase AP’s capacity for visual storytelling.