NEW YORK – Matt Chandler, a senior news leader who has produced award-winning coverage of drug trafficking and cartel violence in Mexico and investigations into Central American gangs, has been named news director for Latin America and the Caribbean for The Associated Press.
The appointment was announced Friday by Ian Phillips, AP's deputy managing editor and vice president for international news.
Based at AP's Latin America headquarters in Mexico City, Chandler will oversee more than 100 journalists and editors in text, photos and video in a region stretching from the U.S.-Mexico border to Chile's Tierra del Fuego. He will also be responsible for AP's Spanish-language text service, with correspondents throughout Latin America, as well as in the United States, and a team of video producers based in Washington.
"Matt's native format is video - and his expertise in that field will be critical in a very important market for AP," said Phillips. "But he brings a sophisticated understanding of all aspects of storytelling - and has strong leadership skills. We're very excited about the impact he and his team will have."
Chandler, 45, joined AP as an executive producer in 2016, driving live coverage and the wider global video report. Previously, he had worked as a senior editor for international news companies including the BBC, Al Jazeera and Sky News.
After spending the first 10 years of his career covering international affairs in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, Chandler spent the next decade managing teams and producing content throughout the Americas with a focus on stories such as organized crime and immigration in Mexico, El Salvador and Honduras. A report from his multiformat series, "Mexico in the Crossfire," which explored the drug trade stretching from Colombia up to the United States, won a major award at the Monte-Carlo Television Festival.
"Matt will lead an AP staff across Latin America celebrated for its aggressive, fast-moving and innovative approach to news coverage," said Sally Buzbee, AP's executive editor and senior vice president. "His collaborative style and strong news instincts make him the ideal person to help our journalists dominate on some of the world's most challenging and important stories, from the immigration crisis at the U.S. border to the continuing standoff in Venezuela."
Chandler is a graduate of Warwick University, with a bachelor's degree in English literature.