BEIJING — The Associated Press has named veteran Asia-based journalist and video producer Miles Edelsten to the new position of news director for Greater China.
The appointment was announced Wednesday by John Daniszewski, senior managing editor for international news; Sandy MacIntyre, AP's director of global video news; and Santiago Lyon, AP's global director of photography.
"China is undergoing dramatic economic growth while facing development challenges that affect not only its people and region, but the entire world," Daniszewski said. "Edelsten's deep commitment to telling the stories of Asia, his sharp and unerring news judgment and his hands-on leadership style make him a great choice to lead one of the AP's most important bureaus."
Previously AP's video news editor for China, Edelsten will manage AP's coverage in text, photos and video for China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. The appointment is part of a move to better integrate how AP manages the various media formats in its bureaus in Asia and around the world. He will report to Brian Carovillano, the Asia-Pacific news director based in Bangkok, and manage three deputies responsible for coverage in text, photos and video.
"Edelsten is a vastly experienced journalist whose leadership of video teams across Asia on some of the biggest stories of the last decade makes him an ideal choice for this role," MacIntyre said. "He is a born storyteller. Leading our text, photo and video operation in an area which is rich in visually stimulating stories is a challenge he will rise to with aplomb."
Edelsten joined AP Television News in 1998 as a newsroom producer in London. The following year he became AP's senior producer in Tokyo, where he coordinated coverage of every major story in Japan over the next 13 years, including the 2002 World Cup and the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis. In 2012, Edelsten transferred to Beijing to lead AP's video coverage of China, including the new Chinese leadership and the controversy over cyber-hacking.
Edelsten has also has traveled widely to cover big stories, including the Kosovo war, the SARS epidemic in China, the Iraq War, the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks, the 2004 tsunami in Asia and the 2008 U.S. presidential election.
A pivotal moment came on March 11, 2011, with the magnitude 9.0 earthquake off northeast Japan. Images he shot while the Tokyo bureau was still rocking were the first pictures of the disaster seen by many people around the world. He subsequently managed a large team of journalists covering the triple disaster that unfolded over the following weeks, and venturing into the exclusion zone around the Fukushima nuclear plant himself to shoot video of the Robinson Crusoe-like existence of a farmer who had refused to leave.
He was also involved in setting up AP's first video news bureau in Pyongyang, North Korea, in 2006, and has regularly visited on assignment since then.
"Edelsten's talent for compelling storytelling and his experience leading teams on major news events have prepared him well for this important role," Lyon said.
Edelsten began his career as an Asia researcher for a news program on Britain's Channel 4 before going on to study Japanese in Tokyo and join Nippon TV as a producer covering Europe and Africa.
Edelsten, 45, is from Dorset, England. He holds a bachelor's degree from Bristol University and a Masters in the Politics of Asia from The London School of Oriental and African Studies.