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Caro Kriel appointed Europe news director for The Associated Press

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Caro Kriel, who has been a driving force behind the development of The Associated Press' international video report for almost two decades, has been named Europe news director for the news co-operative.

She will oversee 250 AP journalists in text, photos and video for a region stretching from the western shores of the British Isles to the Russian far east and from Iceland in the north to southern Portugal.

Kriel will be based in London and report to the AP's Vice-President and Director of Global Video Sandy MacIntyre. The appointment is part of a wider strategy by the AP to create leadership roles that span all the formats in which the agency reports.

Kriel, 43, joined the AP in 1995 as a producer in her native South Africa and moved to London three years later to work with AP Television News, where she became Europe TV editor, deputy managing editor for TV planning, managing editor for video newsgathering and later deputy director of international video. She led AP's video coverage of the conflict in Kosovo in the late 1990s, the 2003 Iraq War, the 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean and the death of Pope John Paul II.

Kriel was a creative force behind combining AP's text, photo and video operations into a single London newsroom serving European and global audiences and led cross-format field reporting teams covering the recent death of Nelson Mandela and the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI.

"Kriel's rich experience in Europe and her track record of driving our journalism on some of the biggest stories of modern times in all formats, make her an excellent choice for this key new role," said MacIntyre.

Santiago Lyon, AP's vice-president and director of photography, said: "Kriel's passion for Europe and her proven ability to run large cross-format news operations will put AP out in front in one of our biggest and most important markets."

"I am very pleased to see Kriel returning to London, providing strong leadership on breaking news and an eye for the important, underlying stories that shape Europe's place in the world," said John Daniszewski, senior managing editor for international news.

Since August 2012, Kriel has been the AP's news director for Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States — a position responsible for AP's video, text and photo report across one-seventh of the earth's surface stretching from the Baltics to Central Asia. Under her leadership, AP conducted an in-depth interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and most recently she secured the first interview with ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in exile in Russia. She is currently overseeing AP's coverage of the crisis in Ukraine before transitioning to her new position in London later this summer.

Before joining AP, Kriel worked for the South African public broadcaster SABC. She is a dual national of Britain and South Africa and graduated with a degree in journalism from the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa.

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