Jim Baltzelle, a veteran news industry leader, is joining the board of directors of Miami Fourth Estate, the parent nonprofit of the Key Biscayne Independent. (KBI via Jim Baltzelle)
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Jim Baltzelle, a veteran journalist and press freedom advocate, joined the board of directors of Miami Fourth Estate earlier this month.

Baltzelle recently retired from The Associated Press after nearly 20 years, more than a decade of which was spent in Miami as Florida bureau chief and Caribbean business manager.

“We are honored to have someone with Jim’s broad experience join our board as we expand hyper-local news coverage into other Miami-Dade municipalities. His deep knowledge of both the editorial and business side of newsrooms will be a great asset to the organization and our readers,” said Tony Winton, the president of Miami Fourth Estate. 

Baltzelle came to AP in 2004 as an assistant bureau chief in Dallas where he helped oversee coverage of Hurricane Katrina. He was appointed interim bureau chief for Louisiana and Mississippi in the aftermath – then was named bureau chief in MIami. 

Before joining AP, Baltzelle was an editor known for watchdog and investigative work at the St. Augustine (Florida) Record; deputy metro editor of the Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville; executive editor of the Palatka (Florida) Daily News; and local news editor of the Ocala (Florida) Star-Banner, among other roles.

In 2010, Baltzelle was named to Columbia University’s Sulzberger Executive Leadership Program, where his project focused on AP’s unique footprint in all 50 statehouses. He helped relaunch AP Books with Mango Media of Miami, among others, in 2014. And, he worked with AP Productions, South Florida PBS and the Hispanic International Telecommunications Network on “Fauci: The Virus Hunter,” an award-winning, bilingual documentary released in 2021.

Baltzelle has remained active in press freedom issues and is past president of the Florida Society of News Editors and past chairman of the board of directors of the First Amendment Foundation.

A Miami native, Baltzelle graduated from the University of Florida. He lives in St. Augustine with his wife of 38 years, Rebecca, who is a math teacher.

Baltzelle  succeeds Thom Mozloom, a marketing professional who helped launch the organization in 2020. Mozloom said he intends to continue supporting Miami nonprofit journalism into other communities. 

“There isn’t a bullhorn big enough to sufficiently thank Thom for his creativity, wit, and encouragement as we started this labor of love to make  impactful hyper-local journalism,” Winton said. 

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