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AP names Byrne news director for southern South America

Paul Byrne, a seasoned video journalist who has led all-format reporting on clergy sex abuse and economic tumult in Argentina, the unrest in Chile and Bolivia and other major stories, has been named by The Associated Press as its news director for South America’s Southern Cone region.

Based in Buenos Aires, Byrne will lead coverage in text, photos and video for Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay and Bolivia, a diverse territory where economic potential collides with deep-rooted poverty, defining the challenges and opportunities facing Latin America.

The announcement was made Thursday by Matt Chandler, AP’s news director for Latin America and the Caribbean.

“Paul is a natural leader and one who knows what it takes to win on breaking news stories vital for AP clients across all formats,” Chandler said.

Byrne, 41, has been the senior video producer in the Southern Cone since 2014 and covered stories throughout Latin America, including World Cup soccer and the Olympics in Brazil, U.S. presidential trips and papal visits. In 2018, he took on the role of interim news director for the area.

Before joining AP, Byrne freelanced for the British newspaper The Guardian, the BBC and RTE in Argentina and worked in Moscow during the launch of international news channel Russia Today.

Originally from Kilkenny, Ireland, the father of two has a master’s degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom. Byrne also represented Ireland in the World and European karate championships.

“An accomplished journalist in his own right, Paul also has a keen understanding of teamwork, guiding and supporting colleagues who often operate under extreme pressure in the field,” Chandler said.