A quick bit of media news this morning: Politico is naming its White House Correspondent Anita Kumar to the newly-created position of “Senior Editor, Standards and Ethics” starting this fall, according to a newsroom note from editor-in-chief Matt Kaminski obtained by Pawprints.
“Anita brings deep journalistic experience, sound judgment and toughness, and a commitment both to doing the craft right and to Politico,” Kaminski wrote, calling the new job “a natural progression for Anita after over two decades of reporting.”
In 2019, while serving as Politico’s White House Correspondent, Kumar endured a squall of controversy for her role, alongside a Daily Mail reporter, in organizing a farewell party for the Trump administration’s outgoing White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
Kaminski’s message to the Politico newsroom continues:
“Everyone’s duty here is to live up to the highest ethical and professional standards. Yet it’s become clear to us that a publication of our size and ambition needs an editor single-mindedly focused on ensuring that we do so. Anita will support our most ambitious journalism from inception through publication, and when necessary post-publication, to keep us true to our core values — a commitment to accuracy and fairness, clarity and courage, and nonpartisanship. The timeless responsibilities of journalists to look at questions from multiple vantage points, to hear all voices, to illuminate unexamined issues have become even more urgent in recent years as national conversations about democracy and diversity, equity and inclusion have intensified.”
The job, however, will not be independent of the editor-in-chief’s overall control; as standards and ethics editor, Kumar will report to Kaminski.
Kumar said in a statement: "I’m thrilled and honored to take on this new and vital role, and I’m looking forward to using my experiences to help Politico produce ambitious and impactful journalism that meets the highest ethical standards."
In his message to staff, Kaminski also announced that he will be looking to hire “an editor who’s obsessed primarily with recruiting, developing and retaining the best people.” Politico has experienced a number of high profile departures in recent months, and—famously—much of its former staff from the Obama era now writes for the New York Times.
(Updated 1:30p ET to include statement from Kumar.)