Leading up to the question Stelter posed on Sunday, he asked Pace about what the biggest story of the year was "beyond the pandemic, if that's possible."
Pace stated that the January 6 riot at the US Capitol building was the biggest story "and it was both that event itself, but I think what it also symbolized about threats to democracy, and that is happening in the United States, but it's also happening around the world."
"And I think as a storyline for 2021, but also as we push into 2022 and beyond, I think that's something you're going to see us really focus on, you know, we want to be really clear with people about the threats that we are seeing to democratic institutions," said Pace.
"We want to try to amplify, you know, who is behind them, expose the money and the forces, the powerful forces that are behind these efforts, because I think that this is one of the great kind of challenges of our time right now."
"But can you be full throated about the reality can you call out GOP extremism for what it is?" Stelter asked the AP executive.
"I think we I think we have been extremely clear when we talk about at, for example, the realities of the 2020 election. That was a free and fair election, and there is ample evidence to back that up and we are consistent in making that clear," replied Pace, noting that every time the outlet runs a story on the 2020 election, they include evidence pointing to that fact.
Stelter continued on to ask Reuters editor-in-chief Alessandra Galloni if the outlet has a "democracy beat."
"Do you have a democracy beat? You have lots of political reporters, but we need democracy reporters?" Stelter asked.
"Well, we cover democracy and less democracy in many countries around the world. So what we try to do is we try to cover it the same way, so we don't – try not to have our own, you know, any political bent or our own views, but this holds for all the countries that that, you know, that we report on," replied Galloni.
Stelter has pushed for a "democracy beat" at outlets on as early as his May 16, 2021 show.
Referring to election contention, Stelter said "And all of this news, all of it, has stoked partisan squabbling, but all of it is bigger than partisan politics. It's really about the future of America's democracy. That's why newsrooms need a democracy beat."
"As media critic Dan Froomkin wrote here, he used this phrase a few months ago, and so did Michael Calderone of Vanity Fair. He said the beat involves voter suppression, extremism, election disinformation," Stelter continued.
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