Best of the AP

Best of the Week - First Winner Sept. 23, 2022

Informant raped during unmonitored drug sting; AP finds little regulation of common police tactic

AP 22255525095604 2000

Investigative reporter Jim Mustian told the exclusive story of a female informant raped twice in an undercover drug sting after her law enforcement handlers left her alone and unmonitored — a case that revealed the perils such informants can face while seeking to “work off” criminal charges in often secretive arrangements.

Mustian spent weeks interviewing sources and obtaining confidential documents after receiving a tip about the incident which took place in central Louisiana early last year. His reporting showed authorities’ apparent disregard for the safety of the informant, while experts told him that such drug stings are conducted countless times a day across the country, but they are notoriously unregulated.

Mustian’s story was among the most-read stories of the week on AP News and earned prominent play by AP members and customers.

For deep reporting that exposed a horrific case and took a hard look at a common police practice, Mustian earns AP’s Best of the Week — First Winner honors.

Read more
Best of the Week - Second Winner Sept. 23, 2022

AP Exclusive: First photos, video of mass burial site in recaptured Ukrainian city of Izium

AP 22258756939880 2000c

When residents in the recently recaptured Ukrainian city of Izium started talking about a burial site that Russian troops had created during their occupation, AP video journalist Vasilisa Stepanenko and photographer Evgeniy Maloletka were the first journalists to find it.

On the outskirts of the city they found Ukrainian soldiers working amid hundreds of graves with simple wooden crosses, most marked only with numbers. The AP pair interviewed the official leading the effort and made photos and video of the soldiers preparing for exhumations.

That evening, when President Volodymyr Zelenskyy referenced the graves in his nightly address, the AP had exclusive photos and footage of the site, unmatched for more than 12 hours and used extensively by broadcasters and news outlets worldwide. The AP pair also returned to the site in the following days as bodies were exhumed; Zelenskyy said some had evidence of torture.

For unrivaled all-formats reporting that brought to light atrocities in Izium a day ahead of competitors, Stepanenko and Maloletka earn AP’s Best of the Week — Second Winner honors.

Read more