Washington, D.C. (March 27, 2018)—The Atlantic has hired longtime political journalist Christi Parsons to lead its newly formed Talent Lab, an ambitious newsroom recruitment and staff development initiative. Working with editor in chief Jeffrey Goldberg, executive editor Matt Thompson, and senior newsroom leadership, Parsons will help launch and lead the Talent Lab to ensure excellence in recruiting, retention, and advancement in The Atlantic’s editorial hiring.
The launch of the Talent Lab is a key early marker in The Atlantic’s expansion this year—which will see the company add as many as 100 new staff and investments across its divisions and platforms.
“Christi brings with her an unparalleled network of journalists, which is why we couldn't wait to have her assist us as we embark on our expansion plan,” said Goldberg. “In addition to Christi's leadership as a journalist and as WHCA president, she has been a forceful advocate for greatly increasing the diversity of our industry.”
Parsons, Thompson, and a growing team dedicated to the Talent Lab will work closely with The Atlantic’s editors to recruit the strongest candidates for print, digital, video, podcasting, and live events. The team will also play a key role in shaping how The Atlantic develops its journalists and achieves one of its paramount goals: ensuring that its masthead is representative of America in all of its diversity.
Parsons comes to The Atlantic from almost thirty years with Tribune newspapers, where she has been a White House correspondent for the Los Angeles Times for the last nine years and was previously a political reporter for the Chicago Tribune. She has reported from 30 countries and covered three presidential campaigns; as a political writer, she charted the ascent of Barack Obama from the Illinois statehouse to the U.S. Senate and the White House. While a politics and government reporter for the Chicago Tribune, Parsons chronicled the rise and fall of two Illinois governors and reported on wrongful convictions as part of a team whose work prompted the Illinois governor to clear death row.
She served as president of the White House Correspondents’ Association in 2015. As president and board member, she led the press corps in fighting for access to information from the White House. Throughout her career, she has worked to recruit and mentor younger journalists.
In late February, The Atlantic announced plans for a large-scale expansion over the coming year. Last week, The Atlantic launched its Family section, the first major editorial initiative of its expansion. Additional areas of editorial focus include expanded coverage of Hollywood and culture, and of technology and Silicon Valley, and a significant infusion to politics and policy reporting staff in Washington. Other dedicated coverage areas at TheAtlantic.com include global, business, education, health, and science. The Atlantic is also doubling both its product and data and analytics teams, and will experiment with innovative consumer revenue models, among other initiatives.
Parsons will be based out of The Atlantic’s Washington, D.C. headquarters and will start on April 2nd.