David McHugh, business writer, Daniel Niemann, video journalist and photographer Martin Meissner comprised a Germany-based team that scored an exclusive interview with the CEO of one of Germany’s largest chemical companies and provided deep beat reporting that focused on the impact to businesses from a decline in the Europe’s largest economy. Engrossing writing propelled the story on the German economy to top reader engagement on AP News and social media. McHugh organized the all-formats trip to Evonik’s headquarters, where CEO Christian Kullmann gave the AP team a longer-than-expected interview. McHugh then went further, turning to business groups he’d talked to for previous stories to find fresh examples from other companies showing how high energy prices stemming from Russia’s war in Ukraine were still squeezing businesses even after an energy crisis has abated in Europe.