Wendy Benjaminson has a new role at AP as national news editor for beats, placing her in charge of the national beat teams that cover state government, education, environment, immigration and race and ethnicity, according to a memo from senior vice president and executive editor Sally Buzbee. In this role Benjaminson will also directly oversee the work of three beat reporters who cover religion, law enforcement and social issues.
“Wendy has long been among AP’s top editors at helping guide journalists to break news,” wrote Buzbee. “As Texas news editor, she helped spearhead coverage of drug violence along the U.S.-Mexico border, and the drug wars beat team she led became a model for excellence.”
“We want our beat teams to have an edge and break news,” Buzbee went on to write. “We want them to report out enterprise that demands page one and makes Chartbeat flutter. For that reason, we’re excited to have Wendy in this new job.”
Benjaminson had been serving since January as acting Washington bureau chief, a role that was permanently filled last month by Julie Pace. Benjaminson has been in the Washington bureau since 2011, previously serving as national security editor and assistant bureau chief. She will remain in Washington for her new role.
Prior to her move to Washington, Benjaminson had spent almost six years in Texas as AP’s news editor for the state, rejoining the organization from the Houston Chronicle, where she had worked for more than a decade in various roles that included assistant managing editor for Sunday and special projects and metro editor. She had joined the Chronicle from a briefer, one-year stint as deputy political editor at the AP.