The Right Thing  | American Journalism Review
 AJR  The Beat
From AJR,   November 2001

The Right Thing   

Vickie Walton-James is named chief of the Chicago Tribune's Washington bureau, replacing James Warren, who returns to the Windy City as deputy managing editor/features..

By Kathryn S. Wenner
Kathryn S. Wenner, a former AJR associate editor, is a copy editor at the Washington Post.     


After six years as deputy bureau chief, Vickie Walton-James is picked to head the Chicago Tribune's Washington staff, replacing James Warren, now deputy managing editor/features. "My terrific deputy," Warren calls her. When he was out reporting, Warren says, "she was a very steady head." With Warren recently moved to Chicago, Walton-James, 42, was running the shop on September 11. She was named to her new position eight days later. "It is a big challenge to be in charge of the bureau during this story," she says. "People are saying after this everything will seem easy." She hopes to add to the existing staff of 13 reporters, two editors, columnist Clarence Page and an office manager. Former Tribune chief political writer Michael Tackett, now national editor at U.S. News & World Report, worked with Walton-James for nearly a decade. "She is one of the few people in journalism management who has truly wonderful people skills," he says. "Vickie's appointment is just a great example of the right thing happening."

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