As The Atlantic grows capacity and ambition for its largest journalism ventures, the editors announced today that Jenisha Watts has been hired as a senior editor on The Atlantic’s special projects team. Watts will begin with The Atlantic on November 4; she was most recently the culture editor of The Undefeated.
“Jenisha is a brilliant editor and a creative thinker with a deep Atlantic sensibility. We have all been struck by the quality of her ideas; by the originality of her thinking; by her infectious curiosity, and by her ambition,” said Jeffrey Goldberg, editor in chief of The Atlantic.
Special projects have been reimagined and expanded at The Atlantic under the leadership of managing editor Gillian White. In recent months, White and the projects team have been behind creation and launches of Planet, The Atlantic’s guide to life on a warming planet; Shadowland on the power and danger of conspiracy; Paging Dr. Hamblin, answering readers questions and curiosities on health in the time of a pandemic; and a reader on race and racism in America released this summer. White was promoted this summer to also oversee The Atlantic’s podcasts and editorial events group.
Watts will contribute to some of The Atlantic’s most ambitious work in her new role, working alongside special projects editor Ellen Cushing, senior editor for experimental storytelling Yuri Victor, projects assistant editor Faith Hill, and with writers and editors across the newsroom.
While the culture editor for ESPN’s The Undefeated, Watts helped introduce a network of diverse writers to increase voices on The Undefeated’s platform and engage new audiences. She also served as a features and commentary editor for espnW and edited pieces for ESPN The Magazine. Before sports journalism, Watts held editorial roles at TIME Books, Essence, and People. Watts is working on her first biography, You Cannot Slot Me: The Life and Words of Charles Stevenson Wright.