Jim Baltzelle, the Florida bureau chief and Caribbean sales manager for the Associated Press, has joined the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting’s Board of Directors.

Jim Baltzelle

A Miami native, Baltzelle oversees news administration and newspaper relationships for the Associated Press in Florida. He also is working to expand the Associated Press’ client base in the Caribbean. Prior to joining the Associated Press, Baltzelle spent 17 years at Florida newspapers, including as editor of the St. Augustine Record, deputy metro editor of the Florida Times-Union and executive editor of the Palatka Daily News, among other positions.

Baltzelle is president of the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors and has been researching solutions to journalism’s business challenges as a Sulzberger Fellow at the Columbia Journalism School.

He believes FCIR, a nonprofit investigative journalism organization founded in September 2010, can be part of the solution for Florida journalism.

“It is important to maintain quality and depth in Florida’s investigative reporting,” Baltzelle said. “The center’s appeal, too, is that it is bilingual in focus, which even intensifies its relevance. I joined because I appreciate the dedication to the core of our profession. A group of curious, skilled and courageous journalists deserves our support.”

Sharon Rosenhause, president of FCIR’s Board of Directors, nominated Baltzelle to the position, and the Board of Directors approved his nomination unanimously.

“We’re delighted to have Jim join FCIR,” Rosenhause said. “He brings great knowledge of Florida and its news organizations, plus terrific editing and management experience.

“From his work as a Sulzberger Fellow at the Columbia Journalism School, Jim has contacts in and insight into the rapidly changing new media/information world. His understanding and vision will be critical to the success of our growing watchdog organization.”