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A Goodbye Post

Seven months ago, I joined The Washington Independent, never having worked for a web-only publication and never having done policy reporting at Internet speed. I came not because of TWI’s reputation as a new new-media paradigm, though. I came because TWI offered its writers something few dead-tree publications in Washington did anymore. Reporters like Spencer Ackerman, Mary Kane, Mike Lillis and Dave Weigel each crafted strong, smart individual beats under a strong, smart editorial banner. No place else in town gave writers such unbridled opportunity to craft a body of work according to their own interests and the news’ demands.

Suddenly, I had the time and the space to write broadly about the economy and banks and finance, but then to zero in on the labor market — the decidedly unsexy but decidedly important, and notably undercovered, things that people talk about over their kitchen tables. I had the mentorship of Spencer and Mary — as well as my brilliant editor, Aaron Wiener, and the network’s savvy leaders, David Bennahum and Blake de Pastino. And I had an ideal platform for a young, hungry journalist ready to fill in the spaces the old media leaves wide open.

So it is with a heavy heart that I’m leaving TWI for Slate. But I’m heartened that TWI’s current generation of journalists is keeping the tradition. They’re already must-reads: Andrew Restuccia on environment, Jesse Zwick on elections and Congress and Elise Foley on immigration. They’re already looking where others aren’t and finding what others haven’t. And tomorrow, I feel lucky to become an avid reader of their, and TWI’s, work.

*Editor’s note: And it’s with a heavy heart that we see her go. In addition to being a brilliant reporter and writer, Annie is also just about the most downright pleasant person to spend 10+ hours a day with. Her inspiring prose is consistently a joy to edit. Thankfully, it’s also a joy to read, and we can’t wait to see where she takes her reporting in her exciting new role at Slate. We sure will miss her, though. *

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