May 06, 2022
Best of the Week — First Winner
Flawless source work, preparation deliver all-formats scoop on US-Russia prisoner swap
In a textbook display of outstanding source work and planning, Eric Tucker and Matthew Lee acted on a tip to score a massive scoop on a stunning U.S.-Russia prisoner exchange that happened despite heightened tensions between the countries.
In the process, the pair showed the rewards of careful, long-term source-building, a model of how to prepare in all formats to put the AP ahead of the competition the moment the news broke, and examples of how to build on a big story with smart sidebars in-cycle and a compelling follow-up story that offered new, behind-the-scenes details.
Their efforts paid off handsomely on Wednesday when Lee got the green light that the exchange had taken place, allowing AP to push out an alert and full story accompanied by photos and video, well before any Western media competitors were even aware the swap had happened.
For their exhaustive, comprehensive work that scooped everyone on the surprising swap, Tucker and Lee share AP’s Best of the Week — First Winner honors.