EMERYVILLE, Calif. – The Center for Investigative Reporting has appointed Matt Thompson as its new editor in chief.
Thompson currently is executive editor of The Atlantic, where he oversees major editorial projects and new initiatives, such as the launch of the magazine’s podcasting unit, membership strategy and talent development teams. In his time as deputy editor of TheAtlantic.com, he helped lead the magazine’s digital team through three record-breaking years of audience growth. Previously, he was director of vertical initiatives for NPR, where he created several broadcast and digital journalism teams, including Code Switch and NPR Ed. He is a former board member of the Center for Public Integrity, where he served for eight years.
“I was drawn to this position because I have been such a fan of CIR’s work,” Thompson said. “I grew passionate about the opportunity as I came to understand the scope of the organization’s ambitions. I could not be more excited to work with this team, particularly at such a pivotal moment for journalists in America and around the world.”
CEO Christa Scharfenberg said: “Like America itself, journalism is on the precipice of fateful decisions and cultural change. The timing of Matt’s arrival could not be better. CIR is well known for its high-impact reporting, innovation, creativity and ambition. Matt has exemplified these qualities throughout his career. I am thrilled as I look toward our future.”
In addition to his time at The Atlantic and NPR, Thompson has been an editor and reporter for news organizations around the country, including the Minneapolis Star Tribune, The Fresno Bee and the Poynter Institute.
Thompson will join CIR on March 4, 2019. He will succeed Kevin Sullivan, who has served as interim editor in chief since September and is executive producer of the Reveal public radio show and podcast. Thompson will report directly to Scharfenberg.
Founded in 1977 as the nation’s first nonprofit investigative journalism organization, CIR’s mission is to engage and empower the public through investigative journalism and groundbreaking storytelling that sparks action, improves lives and protects our democracy. CIR’s work has been recognized for its excellence, groundbreaking creativity and impact. In the last year alone, CIR was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for its investigation into court-ordered drug rehab programs that force participants to work for no pay, won an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award and Selden Ring Award for its investigation into modern-day redlining, and was an Academy Award nominee for best short documentary for the Netflix Original film “Heroin(e).”
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