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Baker named AP chief for Malaysia, Singapore

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June 17, 2013 11:51 PM EST | AP

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BANGKOK — Mark Baker, photographer and acting bureau chief for The Associated Press in Kuala Lumpur, has been promoted to chief of bureau for Malaysia and Singapore.

The appointment was announced Tuesday by Brian Carovillano, the AP's Asia-Pacific news director.

Baker joined the AP in 2003 in Sydney as chief photographer responsible for photo coverage for Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific. He moved to Kuala Lumpur in early 2009 and has expanded his work to include editing and managing major sports events within Asia and further afield.

In his new role, Baker will be responsible for coverage in photos, text and television. He will also continue to do his own photography and organize coverage of sports events.

"Malaysia and Singapore are both multi-ethnic and multi-cultural nations with dynamic economies that are at the heart of Southeast Asia,'" Carovillano said. "In Mark Baker, the AP is lucky to have an experienced journalist and strong leader to help drive our coverage of this vibrant territory."

Baker, 52, started his career at his family's community newspaper in New Zealand, followed by stints with various daily newspapers before moving to Australia in 1987. Before joining the AP, he worked for Reuters news agency in Australia for 14 years, rising to the position of chief photographer in Sydney.

In 1996, Baker won Australia's premier photo award, the Walkley News Photo of the Year award for his coverage of the anti-nuclear riots in Tahiti. He has also twice been named the New Zealand sports photographer of the year.

A native of Matamata, New Zealand, Baker has covered major news stories in Indonesia, Japan, East Timor, New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific as well as five Summer Olympics and four Winter Olympics, plus a host of major international sporting events around the world.