The Richmond Times-Dispatch has named veteran photojournalist James Wallace, the newspaper’s photo director, to a newly created role as senior editor for news, visuals and audience.
The change, effective immediately, comes as The Times-Dispatch emphasizes local news coverage across a variety of platforms from print to online media and videography, with an increased emphasis on diversity of community coverage.
Wallace, 66, has been photo director for The Times-Dispatch for 15 years. Before coming to Richmond, he was a photojournalist, photo editor and director of photography with the Louisville Courier-Journal for 20 years.
Wallace also served for 10 years in the U.S. Navy. During his final six years in the Navy, he was a photo editor for the Navy Newsfeature Service and Pacific Fleet Audiovisual Command.
“James is a true leader and visionary, and in this new role, he’ll help guide our important work across platforms,” said Paige Mudd, executive editor of The Times-Dispatch. “He’s someone who approaches storytelling holistically. He understands that while words matter, visuals — particularly video and photography — are critical to engaging readers, and to the storytelling experience.”
In the new role, Wallace will work with Times-Dispatch Managing Editor Mike Szvetitz to run the day-to-day operations of the newsroom. Wallace will focus on special projects, audience, community and diversity, working with all of the newspaper’s editors, reporters and photographers to emphasize and promote diversity in all aspects of its news coverage, as well as hiring and onboarding new staff members.
Wallace also will help lead The Times-Dispatch’s community and audience engagement initiatives.
“Much of my journalism career has included time as an editor and leader,” Wallace said. “I am honored that I now get to share that experience with a talented team of veteran and young reporters, photographers and editors and designers, who do excellent work on a day-to-day basis, under sometimes difficult conditions.”
Wallace said his career has focused primarily on a visual journalism, although it does include writing and editing. “Leading the conversation from that perspective is somewhat of a change for this organization, but with every change comes opportunity,” he said. “My objective is to seize that opportunity to make the Richmond Times-Dispatch the most compelling source for news and features, in print and on our digital platform. I share the goal, along with our publisher and senior editors, that we can reshape the scope and impact of this publication to reflect the entire Richmond community.”
Wallace grew up in Yorktown and studied at the University of Louisville, earning a degree in Liberal Studies emphasizing photography, history and computer science. He and his wife, Deborah, have two adult children.
“We couldn’t be more excited to elevate James into this new role,” Szvetitz said. “His perspective, experience and wisdom are second to none. He has been such an integral part of our newsroom for years, and there is no one more deserving. James is truly the heart and soul of the RTD and represents everything we stand for and continue to strive toward.
“Our mission is to reflect and represent all the communities in which we serve across all of our platforms,” Szvetitz said. “James will help lead us to deepening those relationships to ensure that our work reflects their priorities. His leadership will promote diversity and inclusion in all aspects of our coverage, inside and outside of the newsroom.”