The Associated Press has named Janelle Cogan, a journalist with more than a decade of experience leading reporters, as deputy director of storytelling for the U.S. South, a new position overseeing AP's presentation of news and enterprise across all media formats in 13 states.
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The appointment was announced Monday by Ravi Nessman, AP's news director for the South region. Cogan is based in Atlanta, AP's regional hub for the southern United States.
Cogan will be part of a new leadership team in the South that will help the region fully integrate its visual and text formats. She will help lead the region's reporters, photographers, video journalists and editors in their efforts to tell stories in the most compelling and innovative ways.
The AP is merging its text, photo, video and interactive journalism operations at each of its U.S. regional publishing centers as part of a restructuring similar to one the cooperative has already completed overseas. The reorganized AP will be fully cross-format, with multimedia journalists and integrated editing desks that emphasize video and social media reporting to a streamlined management structure.
"Janelle's work ethic, creativity and embrace of new forms of storytelling are an asset to AP," Nessman said. "In this new leadership role, she will be perfectly positioned to help spread her vision across the region."
Cogan has been an editor with AP for five years. She worked in several supervisory roles on the South regional desk in Atlanta before stepping in as acting enterprise editor in 2016. In that role, she has helped shape numerous AP exclusive stories, including an investigation into the actual cost of North Carolina's "bathroom bill," an interview with Casey Anthony and a deep look at the last hours of the doomed cargo ship El Faro. She also helped lead AP's coverage of hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
Cogan, originally from the Chicago suburbs, began her career as an editor at The Sun News in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. She moved to the Virginian-Pilot in 2005, rising from the role of copy editor to assistant city editor, where she helped lead the organization's social media strategy for community news. She moved to AP in Atlanta in 2012.
Cogan earned bachelor's degrees in journalism and Spanish from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
The AP's South region encompasses 13 states: Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.