How AP Coverage Will Change for U.S. Newspapers, Broadcasters, and Digital Publishers

From AP executive editor Julie Pace:

Earlier this year, we announced an upgraded AP news offering for our customers in the U.S. – one that is faster and more comprehensive when news is breaking, more visual and more attuned to the needs of digital publishers and their audiences. Today we’re excited to announce a new structure for the U.S. News team that will allow us to deliver on those commitments. Importantly, these are also changes that will create growth and development opportunities for our journalists and put more of you in position to do the kind of work you came to the AP to do

Beginning this fall, we will move away from four separate U.S. regions to become one news gathering team that covers the country as a single unit. We will also launch a unified text editing desk for the U.S. and a single video production team. We’ll hold town halls tomorrow to answer your questions, and smaller group meetings next week to discuss the new structure in more detail. An FAQ is also attached

We know these are big changes, especially after 15 years under a regional structure in the U.S. But the news industry and the needs of our customers and audiences have changed significantly during that time. It’s crucial that the AP adapts so we can succeed both now and in the future.

This realignment in news gathering will allow us to seamlessly leverage our 50-state footprint and surge resources to the biggest breaking stories, wherever they’re happening. It will give our journalists at every level the opportunity to collaborate with colleagues across the AP on the biggest stories of the day

Our production changes will also bring more consistency and continuity to the final product we’re delivering for customers and our audiences. The new structure will also create more pathways for growth in production, something many of you have been asking for. The move to unified production teams in text and video in the U.S. follows the April launch of the global photo desk, which has given us incredible flexibility and helped us prioritize breaking news. In the coming months we plan to join the U.S. and international text editing desks into a similar, 24/7 global desk that “follows the sun.”

Even with these changes, most of our field journalists and production staff will continue to cover and produce the news as they are today. However, the new structure will create new leadership opportunities across the U.S., and we’re excited that we’ll today be posting for the following positions:

Two U.S. deputy news directors who will be responsible for overseeing breaking news assignments across the country, helping determine the top stories of the day and how AP will respond. They’ll take a “story first” approach to the coverage, ensuring we’re competitive in whatever format is best suited to tell a story.

A third U.S. deputy news director will be responsible for beats and topics that intersect regularly with the biggest stories, including race and ethnicity, immigration, state government and law enforcement. All three deputies will join Katie Oyan, deputy news director for local news success, on the U.S. leadership team and all will report to Josh Hoffner.

Two U.S. deputy directors for text production. These deputies will ensure our text filing is competitive, fast and consistent. They will work closely with the news gathering deputy news directors, helping shape the agenda around breaking and spot stories, and planned events. They will report to Derl McCrudden.

A U.S. planning editor responsible for next-day coverage and planning of major events. The planning editor will also report to Josh and will build off the strong culture of planning that is ingrained in our international regions.

A deputy director of photography who will be an essential ally to the U.S. News team and the photographers who are part of that staff, providing photo leadership and support for our daily coverage. This deputy director will report to David Ake and be a counterpart to Tony Hicks, our international photo deputy, and our video executive producers: Tom Williams in the U.S. and Niko Price and Tanja Popovic in London. The EPs report to Sara Gillesby, our new head of global video.

Postings for additional opportunities in news gathering and production will follow in the weeks ahead – and we are eager to talk with all of you about your futures and how you will play a part in this new structure. We see a lot of opportunities for staff to collaborate on big stories, gain format expertise and grow their careers. Ultimately, we are confident this new structure will put our journalists in better position to do the kind of work they came here to do.

We know this is a big change and you will have a lot of questions. We look forward to talking more at U.S. News town halls tomorrow.

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