Slate is hiring one of the most well-known digital political reporters as the site bulks up for the 2020 presidential election.
Newly minted Editor in Chief Jared Hohlt announced in an email to staff Wednesday morning that the digital-news outlet has hired Ashley Feinberg as a senior writer covering politics, media, and technology.
A veteran of HuffPost, Wired, and Gawker, Feinberg has developed a knack for breaking bizarre political stories that light up the internet. Described by the Columbia Journalism Review as a reporter who “trolls for all the right reasons,” over the past few years she uncovered former FBI chief James Comey’s secret Twitter account and a hunting-centric social-media account that almost certainly belongs to Donald Trump Jr.
“I’ve long admired and envied her work—whether she’s grilling Jack Dorsey or uncovering James Comey's secret Twitter account or investigating what's on top of Donald Trump’s head,” Hohlt said. “And I’m thrilled that she will now be following all her leads and hunches for us.”
“I am delighted to be joining Slate, where, in addition to landing some interviews, I hope to continue writing about the weirdest and worst parts of the internet, all 400 Democratic primary candidates, and Lena Dunham’s pets until my brain fully liquifies. I cannot wait to get started,” Feinberg said in a statement.
One of the original digital-news outlets, Slate has long complemented the site’s columns, opinion pieces, and aggregation with original reporting. But much of its focus in recent years has been developing the company’s emerging podcast arm, which has become a centerpiece of the company’s expansion in events and subscription offerings (Disclosure: This reporter was an intern at Slate and worked on multiple podcasts in 2014.)
Feinberg’s hiring comes at a period of turnover for the digital publication.
Hohlt joined the company in April following several high-profile departures, including the site’s editor in chief and longtime chairman. And earlier this year, the company’s editorial employees nearly went on strike following a dispute with management about contractual issues including union dues.
The site plans on hiring for the upcoming 2020 election: Slate is bringing on a politics editor and a national correspondent in coming months.
In a brief telephone conversation, Hohlt, a former top editor at New York magazine, praised Slate’s political coverage, but said he would like the outlet to increasingly “flex its news-breaking muscle.”
“I think it’s to build on the successes it already has and to reaffirm its prominence as a place for political conversation and debate,” he said.