A Q and A With Daisy Veerasingham, the Next CEO of The Associated Press

The AP has named Daisy Veerasingham its next president and CEO. She will become the 14th leader of The Associated Press on Jan. 1, 2022. This Q and A was posted by the AP.

How has your past experience – personal and professional – shaped who you are today?

One of the key things that has impacted me professionally is the length of time I’ve worked internationally. It’s given me perspective on the differences among people, and how important it is to have diverse voices be part of the conversation.

It also gave me a very early understanding of potential opportunities for business outside of the markets in which a company worked. I decided early on that I wanted to work at a truly global organization that operated across the world and brought together a diverse set of people each day.

On a personal note, there’s been a lot written about the number of firsts I represent.

The first woman, first person of color and first international citizen to lead the AP. This is something I have felt acutely throughout my career. For example, at the beginning of my career, I was one of the first people of color to work at the Financial Times.

Standing out in this way has offered me many opportunities but has also come with a huge sense of responsibility. You always feel like you cannot afford to make a mistake because somehow you let too many people down.

What do you look forward to most about leading the AP as president and CEO?

Being part of an organization that is mission-driven, believes in fact-based journalism and has an impact on the world is an honor. AP journalism does impact the world, and that’s something I consider incredibly important.

There is no doubt that there are challenges ahead for the news industry but just as equally there are also many opportunities. I think we have a solid path mapped out for what we need to do. Everything may not always go as planned, and we will make missteps along the way, but I think together we can make lasting change at the AP that makes us stronger.

Some of the things I am most excited about are the potential of philanthropic funding that can help AP dive deep into certain subjects, the potential of live video, and the prospect of creating new services business lines based on AP’s know-how and capabilities.

I am looking forward to watching AP become more successful in building our organizational confidence. We will need to take time to celebrate the successes we have along the way– this is as important as learning from things we could have done differently.

Could you identify what you see as AP’s top priorities for 2022 and beyond?

From a news perspective there are two priorities; understanding and delivering on the critical role we play in breaking news across all formats for our customers and maintaining our core values of fact-based journalism.
From a revenue perspective, we need to stabilize revenue in our core media markets as much as possible. We also need to accelerate the diversification of our revenue streams beyond content licensing and build out our capabilities in services, advertising and special events.There are some key projects that we need to execute on really well in 2022, including the complete overhaul of our elections technology platform. This will position us well for the 2022 midterms and into the 2024 presidential election.We also need to rethink and implement changes to our core product for the U.S. by understanding the ways that customers use our content today. Essentially, our journalism will need to follow the digital publishing cycle from social use through to mainstream platforms, like newspapers and on their broadcasts.

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