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AP names news director for east-central Europe

February 7, 2014

LONDON (AP) — Fisnik Abrashi, an Associated Press correspondent and editor who covered wars and their aftermath on three continents, has been appointed all-formats news director for central and eastern Europe, responsible for leading video, photo and text coverage in a region stretching from the Balkans to Poland.

The appointment was announced Friday by AP’s editorial leadership in London: Derl McCrudden, head of international newsgathering for AP Television News; Tony Hicks, regional photo editor for Europe and Africa; and Europe Editor Niko Price.

“A single leader for video, photo and text reporting enables AP to craft stories that grab audiences whether the platform is broadcast, print, online or mobile,” McCrudden said.

Abrashi will be based in Prague and lead the AP’s eastern and central European team in reporting on the politics, economics, security, social issues and everyday life of 13 countries — Poland, Romania, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia, Slovenia, Montenegro, Kosovo and Moldova.

“We’re excited to see Abrashi put into action his vision for aggressive coverage of one of Europe’s most dynamic regions,” Price said.

“Abrashi combines outstanding news judgment across all formats with in-depth knowledge of the region,” Hicks added.

The 37-year-old Abrashi joined AP in 2000 in his native Kosovo, where he helped cover the aftermath of the war that led to the withdrawal of Serbian forces from the former autonomous province of Yugoslavia. He later spent three years as a correspondent in Kabul, Afghanistan, where he helped cover the expansion of the Taliban insurgency, the rise of drug production and the cooling of relations between the Afghan leadership and its Western sponsors. Since 2010, he has been an editor at AP’s European headquarters in London.

Abrashi has traveled on assignments around the world for the AP, including witnessing conflict in Iraq, Sri Lanka’s first elections after its civil war, and the World Cup in South Africa in 2010.

Prior to AP, Abrashi worked for the BBC and for the Kosovo newspaper Koha Ditore.

He holds a master’s degree in East and Central European Studies from University College London and speaks Albanian and Serbo-Croatian, as well as some Bulgarian, Macedonian and Slovenian.

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