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John Pacenti, an award-winning journalist who has been covering South Florida for more than three decades, will join the Key Biscayne Independent as executive editor, said Miami Fourth Estate President Tony Winton.

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Pacenti is one of the top investigative reporters in the region, known for his coverage of the judicial system, health and police accountability.

He has worked in both television and print, most recently winning an Emmy for producing a statewide news special on the inherent bias of police and media in the search for missing people.

A graduate of the journalism school at the University of Arizona, Mr. Pacenti moved to South Florida in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew in 1992, working for The Associated Press. 

At the AP, he was a lead reporter on the assassination of fashion designer Gianni Versace, managed coverage of the death of Gov. Lawton Chiles, wrote a series on pollution politics and covered top sporting events.

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“I’m delighted to announce that John will be joining us as we build strong, hyper-local journalism in Miami,” said Winton, who worked with Pacenti while both were at AP.  “John is very passionate about expanding solid news coverage into underserved communities in Miami, the core mission of Miami Fourth Estate.” 

Following AP, Pacenti worked at The Palm Beach Post, winning journalism awards for his coverage before moving to the Daily Business Review in 2007. He came back to the Post in 2014, where he served as the health reporter before moving onto the investigations team.

As a print journalist, Mr. Pacenti has won Green Eyeshade Awards for his coverage of police shootings, pill mills and the Jeffrey Epstein saga. 

In August 2021, Pacenti became the managing editor of investigative and in-depth content at WPTV in West Palm Beach. Besides producing specials on various topics, his team won awards for the coverage of policing in Riviera Beach – including the beating of a suspect. He also spearheaded the “Priced Out of Paradise” project on development and the housing crisis. 

John lives in Boca Raton with his wife. He has two adult daughters, a recent graduate of Florida State University and a current student at the University of Central Florida.

Pacenti says his love of journalism runs deep.

“I am a true believer that there are no small stories. The big investigations, the human interest stories and the everyday experiences that make up our lives – I find there is always a way to tell a great story,” he said.

“I look forward to telling these stories to the readers of the Key Biscayne Independent.” 

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