(updated below – Tues.)

We at The Intercept are very excited to announce our new editor-in-chief, John Cook, who joins us after serving as editor-in-chief of Gawker. John shares our commitment to fearless, adversarial, and independent journalism, and has all sorts of vibrant and creative ideas for how to ensure that our journalism is reaching the widest possible audience. As we said on our first day in existence, we launched a bit earlier than we otherwise would have because we have an obligation to the NSA documents to have a place to report them, and we thus created a preliminary version of ourselves in order to do that. But we intend to grow well beyond that initial, limited focus, and John is the ideal person to steer our ship as we do so.

We are also excited to announce two new journalists who are joining The Intercept: Natasha Vargas-Cooper and Andrew Jerrell Jones. Natasha, a former union organizer and journalist based in Los Angeles, has focused on criminal justice, child welfare, and a wide array of other political debates including ones focused on civil liberties, culture, and feminism. Her uniformly passionate and spirited reporting has appeared in the New York Times, the Atlantic Monthly, the Guardian, BuzzFeed, GQ, and many others. She will start writing as soon as we are ready to begin expanding beyond our initial NSA focus, likely June 1, and, among other things, will work extensively with our senior editor, Liliana Segura, in covering criminal justice issues that are vitally important yet far too often ignored.

Andrew is a political, policy, and sports journalist whose work has appeared on MSNBC, The Grio, Raw Story, and Talking Points Memo. He has also made appearances on the RT network and HuffPostLive. His hiring by First Look was previously announced back in October, as one of our first hires, but we are now thrilled to have him joining The Intercept. He will begin immediately with us supporting our NSA reporting, and will eventually expand his focus to a wider array of topics as we do.

When Jeremy, Laura, and I began to create our vision for The Intercept, we vowed to pursue the most fearless, diverse, and independent group of journalists we could find. That process, like The Intercept itself, is still in its very early stages. But we are certain that these newest journalists to join us as well as ones we are now actively pursuing and who we hope will join us imminently, and particularly putting John at the helm, takes us much closer to that ultimate vision.


UPDATE [Tues.]: In response to some reader comments and questions, I added some thoughts in the comment section on Cook’s joining us as editor-in-chief, which can be read here.