Los Angeles Times Names Three Washington Correspondents

As part of the rebuilding of the Los Angeles Times, Executive Editor Norman Pearlstine and Managing Editor Scott Kraft made the following announcement.

We are delighted to announce the addition of three talented, enterprising reporters to our growing Washington bureau: Janet Hook, Anna Phillips and Molly O’Toole. They come on the strong recommendation of David Lauter, Washington Bureau Chief, to whom they will report.

Janet Hook, who will take on the job of chief political writer in Washington, has established herself over nearly four decades as among Washington’s best-informed and wisest reporters. For the last eight years, she has been a Washington-based reporter for the Wall Street Journal. As a national political reporter for the Journal, her coverage of the 2012 and 2016 presidential campaigns set the standard for intelligent, fair and perceptive reporting on politics. Janet’s byline, of course, will be a familiar sight to many Los Angeles Times readers. She previously covered Congress and national politics during nearly 15 years in our Washington bureau, which included memorable news events from the Clinton impeachment through the Sept. 11 terror attacks, the Iraq War, the election of Barack Obama, the passage of the Affordable Care Act and the Republican takeover of the House in 2010. As we get ready for coverage of a deeply divided electorate heading into a presidential campaign of keen interest to our readers, Janet’s insight, experience and depth will prove key to our coverage.

Anna Phillips came to the Los Angeles Times in 2016 from the Tampa Bay (formerly St. Petersburg) Times and has quickly established herself as among the stars of our hard-working Metro staff. Her coverage of schools in Los Angeles has won praise from editors, colleagues and readers as she uncovered misconduct, scrutinized politics and analyzed bureaucracy in the nation’s second-largest school district and the charter schools that surround it. The investigation that she did last year of wild spending at one major charter-school operation drew national attention and led the state Board of Education to take the rare step of shutting down two schools. Her editors in Los Angeles have praised her intelligence, ability to dig into complex stories and skill at distilling those complexities into readable narratives. All that will serve her – and our readers – well as she takes up her new assignment covering environmental policy in Washington, a topic of great interest on which the Trump administration and California have repeatedly battled.


Molly O’Toole has spent the past eight years developing expertise and sources on U.S. immigration and national security policy and their implications for people seeking to flee some of the world’s most troubled spots. As a freelancer contributing to The Atlantic, the Washington Post and others, and as a staff writer and editor for Foreign Policy, Defense One and the Huffington Post, her energy and resourcefulness allowed her to find and break news often missed by much larger and more fully staffed competitors. Her writing from Latin America, the Middle East and Africa has given her valuable insight into the impact that abstract government policies have on the concrete circumstances of migrants, and her ability to tell their stories with empathy and sophistication has already created a distinguished body of work. As our Washington-based immigration writer, she’ll tackle a policy area at the center of the Trump administration’s agenda, one that generates daily headlines which emphasize the topic’s importance to California and the nation as a whole.