Victor Balta, the former news planning editor for Aljazeera.com, the online home of Al Jazeera America cable news channel launched in August 2013, became director of the University of Washington Office of News and Information July 1.
Al Jazeera America has one of the largest news-gathering capabilities of any news organization in the U.S., with 12 bureaus in major cities around the country, three broadcast centers and a team of nearly 800 journalists and staff, according to its website. Based in New York, Balta assigned and edited news and feature stories from staff writers and a network of nearly 100 freelance writers around the country.
Balta was a news reporter, television critic and popular culture writer for The Herald in Everett from 2003 through 2006, and later held editorial management positions at Comcast.net in Philadelphia and Current TV in San Francisco before joining Al Jazeera.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism at California State University, Sacramento, in 2000 and held reporting and editing positions in the California communities of Vacaville, Walnut Creek and Stockton.
At the UW, he will head an office with six public information officers who cover research and learning in such areas as Earth sciences, social sciences, engineering and public policy. The office produces the news sites UWToday and Faculty & Staff Insider. The office also includes the university photographer.
Balta replaces Bob Roseth who served as director for more than 30 years until his retirement in December.
Follow news releases and features issued by the office: