Shaun King Joins The Intercept as Columnist, Vanessa Gezari as National Security Editor, and More

Associate Editor Maryam Saleh and politics reporter Aída Chávez join the D.C. bureau. Kate Aronoff and Rachel M. Cohen become contributing writers.

The Intercept is welcoming several exciting journalists to our team.

Shaun King will be joining us as a columnist. Most recently, King was the writer-in-residence at Harvard Law School’s Fair Punishment Project and, before that, a senior justice writer at the New York Daily News.

With his trademark blend of reporting, commentary, and online activism, King has charted the progress — and the challenges — of today’s movement for racial justice and against police brutality and mass incarceration. He first gained national recognition for his impassioned coverage of the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014, at the hands of police. He went on to write for the liberal blog Daily Kos as a contributor before moving to the Daily News, where he penned more than 600 columns.

Throughout his career, King has built a formidable social media following. As a journalist, King has deployed this following as a tool of the craft; King’s audience provides tips to stories of injustice that would otherwise be ignored, as well as to all-too-rare triumphs of activism across the country. (Most recently, he took to Twitter to crowdsource the identities of those responsible for the brutal beating of DeAndre Harris in Charlottesville, Virginia.) Today, with Donald Trump in the White House and a white supremacist tailwind at his back, King’s brave, creative, and inspiring work has become even more vital — and we are proud to give it a home at The Intercept.

“It’s hard to know a moment in history when you are in it, but this much I know: We are in a painful and peculiar point in American history. So much is wrong that it’s hard to keep up, but we must,” King said. “At my heart, I’m a confrontational journalist. At most outlets, that means I’m a square peg in a round hole, but not at The Intercept. Adversarial journalism isn’t the peculiar exception here – it’s the norm. That’s why I’m joining the team.”

Shaun King, Vanessa Gezari, Aída Chávez, and Maryam Saleh are joining The Intercept’s staff. Kate Aronoff and Rachel M. Cohen become contributing writers. (From left to right, top to bottom.)

The Intercept is also gaining a new national security editor, the accomplished journalist Vanessa Gezari. Most recently, Gezari has been managing editor of the Columbia Journalism Review. Her fascinating exploration of the role of American social scientists in the Afghan war, “The Tender Soldier: A True Story of War and Sacrifice,” was selected as one of the best nonfiction books of 2013 by Kirkus. On September 10, 2001, she left the U.S. to freelance in South Asia and spent the next three years reporting from Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Kashmir, and Sri Lanka for the Chicago Tribune and other outlets. Gezari went on to become a foreign and national correspondent for the St. Petersburg Times. She has trained Afghan journalists with the Institute for War and Peace Reporting, and mentored reporters and editors at Pajhwok Afghan News, Afghanistan’s largest independent news agency. She’s received many fellowships, including a 2012 Knight-Wallace Fellowship, and has written for many outlets, including the Washington Post and the New York Times.

Meanwhile, we are thrilled to announce two additions to our Washington bureau.

Aída Chávez will start soon as a political reporter. Chávez most recently served as a social media reporter for The Hill and, before that, as a Washington correspondent for Cronkite News, the news division of Arizona’s PBS station. She has reported on money in politics, immigrant and refugee issues, and reproductive rights. Chávez was the Spring 2017 Charlie Ericksen Supplement Winner from the D.C. chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. She speaks English, Spanish, French, and studied Arabic, allowing her to report on the impact of public policy on diverse communities.

Maryam Saleh is our new Washington-based associate editor. Saleh worked as an immigration attorney before switching tracks and attending Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. Her writing has appeared in U.S. News & World Report, Public Radio International, Syria Deeply, the Tampa Bay Times — and The Intercept, where she has been an editorial fellow since July.

Finally, I am pleased to announce that two talented contributing writers will fill out our roster: Kate Aronoff, a writing fellow at In These Times, who specializes in the economy and climate change; and Rachel M. Cohen, formerly of the American Prospect, who writes about a range of topics, including policing, economics, and the battle for the Democratic Party.

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