AP names Phillips news director in Middle East

NEW YORK (AP) — The Associated Press has named Ian Phillips as its Mideast news director, leading all of AP’s news production in print, television, photos and online for the diverse and vital region.

The appointment was announced jointly on Wednesday by John Daniszewski, senior managing editor for international news; Santiago Lyon, director of photography; and Sandy MacIntyre, director of global video news.

In his new role, Phillips will oversee nearly 200 journalists covering some of the world’s most challenging and dynamic stories, including political unrest in Egypt, the civil war in Syria and political conflict and violence in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Phillips most recently headed AP’s video, print and photo news coverage for eastern and central Europe, responsible for an area from Poland to the Balkans. From his base in Prague, Czech Republic, he oversaw visually strong stories that worked across all formats and platforms. Top stories included the arrest of Bosnian Serb Gen. Ratko Mladic, the death of former Czech President Vaclav Havel and an investigation into corruption in Romania’s health care system. Under Phillips, AP’s video production from the region increased dramatically.

“Ian Phillips has distinguished himself as a leader who knows that accurate, timely news is important to AP’s vast audience whether it is consumed on TV, in a newspaper or on a digital device. He has been a pioneer in knitting together print, photo and video journalists to deliver breaking news and distinctive, in-depth stories rich in perspective and context,” said Daniszewski.

“Ian is a perfect fit for this new role,” said MacIntyre. “He has been at the forefront of harnessing the AP’s text, photo and video newsgathering teams in Europe into a cohesive fighting force…. These talents will be key in taking our Mideast report to new heights.”

Phillips will be based in Cairo, site of the AP’s Mideast regional headquarters. The region encompasses AP operations from Afghanistan and Pakistan to Sudan — including Syria, Egypt, Israel, the Palestinian territories, Iraq, Iran, the Persian Gulf and Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Lebanon, Jordan and Sudan.

His management team will include Dan Perry, acting Mideast regional editor for the past year who will continue to oversee the text report in the region; and Mideast Photo Editor Manoocher Deghati, who oversees still images and who assembled the team of award-winning photographers who won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news photography. A video news leader is expected to be named soon.

“Ian’s proven track record of telling compelling stories in video, photos and print solidifies our mission of creating and delivering essential journalism,” said Lyon.

Phillips, 43, joined AP in 1994 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and reported from several South American countries before transferring to Paris in 1998 and AP’s London office two years later. From 2001 to 2004 he was an editor in New York.

Phillips was named deputy editor for Europe and Africa in 2004, and has been at the forefront of the AP’s efforts to produce cross-format journalism. At the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, he was the main coordinator between text, video and photos.

He helped lead coverage of major stories ranging from the terror attacks on London’s transport network in 2005 and the deaths of Yasser Arafat and Pope John Paul II, to piracy off the east coast of Africa.

Prior to joining AP, Phillips worked in Argentina for Reuters and The Buenos Aires Herald. He is British and a graduate of St. John’s College, Cambridge University.

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