BANGKOK (AP) — Chris Brummitt, Vietnam chief of bureau for The Associated Press, has been promoted to the new role of Southeast Asia news editor, responsible for text coverage and operations across Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.
The appointment was announced Friday by Brian Carovillano, AP's Bangkok-based Asia-Pacific news director. It is part of a general reorganization designed to provide greater coverage of a dynamic and rapidly developing region that regularly makes global news.
Brummitt, 42, has covered major news events for the AP across Asia and the Middle East for more than a decade. In his new position, he will be based in Singapore and manage a team of journalists in Manila, Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur.
Indonesia bureau chief Margie Mason will continue to be based in Jakarta but will focus on her role as AP's Asia regional health and science reporter, as well as continuing to cover news from Indonesia. After 11 years in Manila, Philippines chief of bureau Hrvoje Hranjski is moving into an editing role in Bangkok.
Reporter Jim Gomez, a longtime AP staffer in Manila, is being promoted to the role of chief correspondent for the Philippines, reporting to Brummitt, who in turn will report to the Asia-Pacific news director.
"Chris Brummitt is a natural choice for this new role, with his deep understanding of the region, its people and its most important ongoing stories," Carovillano said. "And Jim Gomez is among the most respected journalists in the Philippines, who has broken innumerable stories over the years."
A native of western England, Brummitt joined the AP in Jakarta in 2000, shortly after receiving a degree in Indonesian studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. He is fluent in Indonesian and Malay, related languages spoken by more than 215 million people in the region.
Brummitt was in charge of AP's news operations in Indonesia on Dec. 26, 2004, when a tsunami triggered by a giant earthquake off the country's northwest tip killed up to 230,000 people. AP's coverage of the Indian Ocean tsunami won the National Headliner Award for Spot News and the Associated Press Managing Editors' Award for Deadline Reporting in 2005.
In 2008, Brummitt became bureau chief in Pakistan, where he helped oversee AP's coverage of that country's devastating floods as well as Osama bin Laden's killing by U.S. commandos. He uncovered exclusive stories on Islamist infiltration into the Pakistani army, the secret journeys of Southeast Asian extremists to the country and the existence of militant training camps.
In Hanoi, where he was posted in 2012, Brummitt worked with AP's video and photo journalists to produce a series of stories in Vietnam on intellectual property rights, the challenges facing Internet startups and human rights in a country that is seeking to open up to the world but also maintain a tight grip on its people.