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Karl Ritter named AP's Southern Europe news director

Associated Press Associated Press 11/11/2016
This is a Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015 image of Associated Press journalist Karl Ritter at the the COP21, United Nations Climate Change Conference, in Le Bourget, outside Paris, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015. Ritter, currently AP's bureau chief for the Nordic and Baltic countries and its lead reporter on climate change, has been appointed Southern Europe News Director for the Associated Press. (AP Photo/Francois Mori) © The Associated Press This is a Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015 image of Associated Press journalist Karl Ritter at the the COP21, United Nations Climate Change Conference, in Le Bourget, outside Paris, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015. Ritter, currently AP's bureau chief for the Nordic and Baltic countries and its lead reporter on climate change, has been appointed Southern Europe News Director for the Associated Press. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

LONDON — Karl Ritter, The Associated Press' bureau chief for the Nordic and Baltic countries and a lead reporter on climate change, has been appointed Southern Europe News Director.

In his new role, Ritter will lead a team of text, photo and video journalists covering Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Turkey, Malta and Cyprus — a vast region on the front lines of the mass migration of people that is reshaping our world.

The appointment was announced Friday by Caro Kriel, AP's news director for Europe.

"Karl is exactly the kind of journalist we need to lead AP's talented team in southern Europe to be fast and accurate on breaking news, and give customers the breadth of content they expect from us," Kriel said.

Born in Switzerland, raised in Sweden and Spain and educated in the United States, Ritter worked as an associate producer at local TV station KTVK in Phoenix before joining the AP in 2000 as an intern in the Rome bureau. He became a staff reporter in Stockholm and transferred to London as an editor on the newly formed Europe Desk in 2004.

He returned to Stockholm as news editor a year later and was quickly promoted to bureau chief.

In addition to leading coverage of the Nordic and Baltic countries, Ritter has been instrumental in AP's reporting on global climate change since 2009.

He has also traveled across the world to cover major events, including unrest in Venezuela, Russia's annexation of Crimea, the November 2015 attacks in Paris, four Olympics and three World Cups.

Ritter has been a leader in ensuring that AP is competitive in all formats. From Stockholm, he has helped coordinate video and photo coverage of events in the region, and has worked closely with all formats on his travels around the world.

He has also helped to create a vibrant visual dimension to AP's climate change coverage, resulting in strong photo and video stories about one of the most vital — and most complex — issues facing the world.

Ritter has a B.A. in broadcasting from Arizona State University and dual graduate degrees in journalism and international affairs from Columbia University.

Ritter will be based in Rome and takes up his post in mid-January.

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