Corporate Risk, Journalism

About The Associated Press

  • Established in 1846
  • Operates in almost 250 locations in nearly 100 countries
  • Reaches 4 billion people daily 

2023 was a particularly deadly year for journalists worldwide, with 99 killed in relation to their work in conflict zones. Journalists at The Associated Press (AP) have gone to great lengths to report and deliver accurate news to the public, but it’s become clear that their physical, psychological and digital safety is more at risk than ever.

We spoke with Mark Grant, Vice President of Global Safety, Risk and Resilience at AP, to learn more about how AP has been using Dataminr and its real-time alerting solution, Dataminr Pulse for Corporate Security, to better protect their journalists.

The challenge

Prior to Dataminr, security operations at AP differed by region. Security leaders and teams in each region used different tools, technology and databases to ensure business continuity and the safety of their journalists. 

Upon joining AP, Grant knew he needed an overarching structure to oversee the global security operations and lead regional teams when necessary. 

“I wanted a single pane-of-glass that lets me pull all the metrics not only from an alerting standpoint, but also allows me to do trend analysis and share credible and actionable  information with our team,” said Grant. 

The geopolitical risk landscape over the past two years has presented enormous challenges for AP journalists to do their job safely, thus making it a much more difficult task for security teams to protect them. According to a recent report by the Committee to Protect Journalists, nearly 80 percent of the 99 journalist casualties in 2023 were attributed to the Israel-Gaza war. 

“Russia-Ukraine and Israel-Gaza wars are two conflicts that have really highlighted how journalists are often targeted by the very nature of doing their jobs,” said Grant. “It’s a very worrying trend and something we are trying our best to manage, to predict where we can, and make sure whatever we share with our journalists is the best information at that time. Context is key.”

The solution

Since integrating Dataminr Pulse into their existing workflow, Grant and his team now have one centralized place where they can easily and quickly gather relevant data, instead of having to manually scrape social media channels—an extremely resource-intensive and time consuming process. 

“Dataminr is a force multiplier,” said Grant. “It’s very hard to have 15 browser tabs open to monitor risks when there are constant, relentless [geopolitical] conflicts. Dataminr allows us to provide key stakeholders with information as it changes in real time at scale. It gives us the clarity about where to go and where to look [for risks].” 

So far, the biggest value Dataminr brings to Grant’s security team is the ability to effectively plan ahead for critical events with the data they collect via Dataminr Pulse’s real-time alerts. Below are two examples of why planning ahead for risks is imperative.

Geopolitical events

Grant and his team use Dataminr’s geovisualization capability to get a full view of potential threats—emerging, ongoing and past—which allows them to conduct a full risk assessment before sending reporters to different parts of the world. 

This was the case for journalists covering the Israel-Gaza war. Safeguarding them in the war zone is a mammoth task for Grant and team. 

“Dataminr helps inform my risk assessment by enabling me to look at the travel routes we’re using and the types and impact of past incidents in that area to study previous trends,” said Grant. “I can use Dataminr to see exactly where the threats and target areas are in relation to our staff.”

Once a risk assessment gets approved by leadership and AP journalists go out into the field, Grant’s team can proactively stay up to date—in real time—with developments in towns through which they’ll be passing. With this real-time situational awareness, Grant can quickly inform key stakeholders, should an incident occur, re-evaluate the level of risk journalists are facing, and determine the next course of action.

2024 U.S. election

As this year’s U.S. presidential election nears, the AP, like other organizations nationwide, is preparing for a level of disruption. 

“We’ve got journalists who might be targeted specifically because of their race and gender,” said Grant. “Leading up to the U.S. election, I can use Dataminr to keep track of any sort of patterns of disruption and/or increased risk and flag it to the teams covering the event.”

According to Grant, the AP has more reporters covering the U.S. election this year than any other news outlets. That’s why it’s vital that his team plans ahead and stays abreast of significant developments to mitigate potential risk to the journalists.  

“We use Dataminr to predict [risk] where we can, and make sure that whatever we are sharing with our journalists is the best information at that time,” said Grant.

Beyond the U.S. election, Grant aims to continue leveraging advanced technologies and tools, including Dataminr Pulse, to support and safeguard AP journalists against growing threats—both physical and digital.

Learn more

See how organizations use Dataminr Pulse for Corporate Security to stay ahead of risks and protect their people and assets more effectively.

May 1, 2024
  • Corporate Risk
  • Journalism
  • Newsrooms
  • Case Study

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