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 happy to announce the creation of a unified Data and Graphics Department, led by Ben Welsh. Welsh will report to Len De Groot, who, as assistant managing editor for Digital, will also continue to oversee the CMS and other crucial digital initiatives. De Groot will report to Deputy Managing Editor Sewell Chan.
Over the past year, members of our Graphics Desk and our Data Desk have helped produce some of our most impactful and popular stories. From 101 Restaurants and vanishing coastlines to the Next California series and the ascent of Gavin Newsom, these stories have generated hundreds of subscriptions. We want the merged department to produce more signature pieces while de-emphasizing the creation of routine charts and tables.
We plan to strengthen the department’s editing ranks. We shall resume a national search for a deputy graphics editor, who will help lead an expansion in original, visual stories, especially around big news events. We shall also add a deputy editor to oversee the custom, immersive presentations developed for tent-pole features like“Dirty John” and “Man in the Window.”
Since joining The Times more than a decade ago, Welsh has mentored innumerable journalists, using technology to help them find new ways of storytelling. The Data Desk he leads has been at the forefront of digital innovation at The Times for a decade. The team’s work has prompted sweeping government reforms and helped our newsroom win journalism’s highest awards. By combining it and the graphics team under Welsh’s leadership, we are confident our work will have even greater impact.