Posted in Behind the News

Providing unmatched perspectives of consulate search

, by Lauren Easton

When crime scene investigators arrived unannounced at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Turkey after the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, AP was ready in all formats.

A security guard walks into the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, Oct. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

Vice President for Standards John Daniszewski recounted their efforts in a memo to staff:

The AP had two cameras at the consulate and a third nearby at the consul general’s residence that gave unmatched perspectives of key developments in the search for clues into the death of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Turkey news editor Ayse Wieting already had one camera fixed on the consulate door for 24-hour live coverage and quickly scrambled two more cameras with LiveU units to set up a three-point live shot. The efforts enabled AP clients to follow the search in real time from three angles, paving the way for the delivery of pieces much faster and more consistently than our rivals.
Ankara correspondent Suzan Fraser later got a high-level Turkish source to confirm that the consulate search turned up “evidence” that Khashoggi was killed there, a scoop that was cited across international and Turkish media. And AP’s photo coverage of the story was also dominant, complementing the outstanding the video and text efforts. Photographers worked hard to find new angles on a visually challenging story, where often the only visible activity was people walking in and out of a building. Nevertheless, AP photos were consistently on the front pages of major newspapers, such as a huge front-page display in The New York Times on Oct. 15 of Athens-based photographer Petros Giannakouris’s view of a man peeking through the ajar double door of the Saudi consulate.
For such impressive efforts and ingenuity in covering a worldwide top story of paramount importance to AP members and customers in all formats, the AP team of Wieting, Fraser, Giannakouris, Mehmet Guzel, Fay Abuelgasim, Srdjan Nedeljkovic, Cavit Ozgul, Huseyin Buyugzici, Mutlu Cakir, Pitarakis and Emrah Gurel earns Best of the Week honors.