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AP wins 2 Royal Television Society awards

, by Lauren Easton

AP field producer Vasilisa Stepanenko and AP video journalist Mstyslav Chernov were honored at the Royal Television Society’s 2023 Television Journalism Awards on Wednesday in London.

Stepanenko was on hand to accept the Young Talent of the Year award. Chernov was named Camera Operator of the Year.

Vasilisa Stepanenko. (AP Photo)

Both were part of the AP team that spent nearly three weeks in Mariupol, Ukraine, at the start of the Russia-Ukraine war, the only international journalists to remain inside the besieged city.

At great personal risk, the journalists showed the world the atrocities that took place within the city limits, from dying children to mass graves to the shelling of a maternity hospital and more.

Derl McCrudden, AP’s vice president of global news production, said:

Through these awards, the RTS recognized the work of the AP in Ukraine and the people behind it. Vasilisa Stepanenko has had a remarkable year, covering the siege of Mariupol, the effects of the war on the people of Ukraine, and contributing and driving some of our groundbreaking investigative journalism in Ukraine. She is a deserving winner. Mstyslav Chernov is one of the outstanding camera operators and field journalists of his generation. Leading our team in Mariupol, he and his colleagues set the pace for coverage of the opening weeks of the war. His camera work and sensitivity to the people Mstyslav films is extraordinary.
Mstyslav Chernov. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

The team’s reporting has garnered several international journalism awards, including the George Polk Award for War Reporting, Bayeux Calvados-Normandy awards, and the Deutsche Welle Freedom of Speech Award. It is also the subject of the AP-Frontline documentary “20 Days in Mariupol,” which was awarded the Sundance Film Festival’s World Cinema Documentary Competition Audience Award.

The awards from the Royal Television Society recognize journalism by organizations that broadcast on a UK-based platform or create online video content from a UK production base.