David Pace has been appointed news editor in the Washington bureau of The Associated Press, the news agency’s largest bureau.
Pace, 56, will be in charge of elections projections for the AP, development of special projects and adaptation of technology advances to the bureau’s journalism. The appointment was announced Friday by chief of bureau Sandy Johnson.
A native of West Columbia, S.C., Pace graduated from Duke University with a degree in engineering and earned a masters degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Pace joined the AP in Montgomery, Ala., in 1978, after reporting for the Jacksonville, Fla., Journal and a group of small newspapers in south central Tennessee. While in Tennessee, he was shot by an influential county official who objected to his coverage of an arson investigation on the official’s farm. The wound was not life-threatening, but two local grand juries refused to return an indictment. Pace then filed suit in U.S. District Court and won a civil judgment after a two-day trial in which a federal judge gave a stirring defense of press freedom in his jury instructions.
Pace spent 15 years as the AP’s Washington-based regional correspondent for the Southeast before his promotion in 1999 to supervisor of election projections.
Pace was part of a team of analysts that was a Pulitzer finalist and won the APME Presidential Award for AP’s refusal to call the 2000 presidential race for George Bush, under enormous pressure. Pace also won AP’s prestigious Gramling Award for Achievement in 2003 for building an internal projections tool for calling races.