AP names Caro Kriel news director for Russia, CIS

Caro Kriel, a former senior editor at Associated Press' global television news operations in London, has been appointed news director for Russia and the other CIS countries, responsible for driving distinctive text, photo and video coverage of a region stretching from the Baltic and Black seas to the Pacific Ocean.

 The appointment was announced Friday by Europe Editor Niko Price.

 "During her time in London, Caro showed a sophisticated eye for what makes a great story and a great determination to pull it together," Price said. "Those qualities will help us offer unparalleled coverage of a region that is always fascinating and often challenging to cover."

   Kriel will work from a base in Moscow to lead dozens of journalists in a territory that includes Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Along with Moldova, those countries make up the Commonwealth of Independent States, a loose association of former Soviet republics that emerged in 1991 after the collapse of the Soviet Union. She will also oversee Georgia, which withdrew from the CIS in 2009.

Kriel will report to Price in London.

"By putting one dynamic leader in charge of all of AP's journalism in Russia and the former Soviet republics, AP will have a more integrated report in words, photos and video, suited to our increasingly converging media world," said John Daniszewski, AP's senior managing editor for international news in New York.

Kriel, 41, joined the AP in 1995 as a producer in Johannesburg and moved to London three years later to work with AP Television News. She quickly became deputy regional editor for Europe, Europe editor, deputy managing editor for planning, managing editor for newsgathering, and then deputy director of news.

Kriel led AP's video coverage of the conflict in Kosovo in the late 1990s, the second Gulf War, the death of Pope John Paul II and the 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean. In London, she also helped join AP's text, photo and video operations into a single newsroom serving European and global audiences.

She left the news cooperative in 2010 to move to Russia with her family. Her husband, Daniel Sandford, is the BBC's correspondent in Moscow.

Before AP, Kriel worked at SABC in South Africa. She is a dual national of Britain and South Africa and graduated with a degree in journalism from the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa.