Associated Press picks Julie Pace to serve as top editor

Associated Press picks Julie Pace to serve as top editor
© AP photo

The Associated Press has tapped veteran reporter and editor Julie Pace to serve as its top newsroom leader, the company announced Wednesday. 

Pace, formerly the outlet's Washington Bureau chief, will begin her new role as senior vice president and executive editor effective immediately. 

She replaces former top editor Sally Buzbee, who left the agency in May to replace Marty Baron as executive editor at The Washington Post, making her the first woman to lead the newspaper in its 144-year history.

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“This is a very exciting time for the AP – we’re a 175-year-old news organization with a new CEO and a new executive editor,” AP President and CEO Gary Pruitt, who is retiring at the end of the year, said in a statement. “Julie Pace has a vision for AP’s future that is in line with our longstanding values but also forward-thinking. She will do an excellent job.”

Daisy Veerasingham, AP executive vice president and chief operating officer, said Pace has "demonstrated strong, collaborative leadership and exceptional news judgment,” over the course of her career, which the AP plans to capitalize on under her leadership. 

Pace, in an interview with The New York Times published Wednesday morning, said people who view the AP as "a basic wire service putting out choppy sentences,” are misinformed. 

"If that is your impression of The AP, then you haven’t been paying attention to The AP We produce just incredibly high-level, sophisticated reports across all formats every day," she added. 

Pace is the third consecutive woman to serve as AP executive editor, the outlet said, and will report to Veerasingham. 

She is originally from Buffalo, joining the AP in 2007 and serving in various roles including her most recent leading the Washington Bureau, which she began in 2017. 

Pace helped guide the AP's coverage of all of the major political and national news stories since then, including the 2018 midterm elections, coronavirus pandemic and Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. 

“Being a fact-based news organization does not mean that everybody on every side of an issue gets equal hearing, gets equal voice,” Pace told the Times, reiterating her commitment to ensuring fact-based journalism at the AP. “In certain cases, the facts are just really clear, and we want to make sure that we are amplifying the facts and not muddying the facts. So Covid vaccines are safe. Climate change is real. There was no widespread fraud in the U.S. election. Those are not political positions; those are fact-based positions.”