Ben and Justin Smith appoint Gina Chua as Editor-in-Chief of News Start-Up
Gina Chua, editor-in-chief of Reuters, will become the editor-in-chief of a new media start-up led by Ben Smith and Justin Smith.
Ms Chua’s hiring was announced on Tuesday by Ben Smith, who quit his job as a media columnist for The New York Times in January to set up a global news agency with Justin Smith, the former chief executive of Bloomberg Media. Ben Smith will serve as editor of the new outlet, reporting to Ms Chua.
Since April, Ms. Chua has been editor-in-chief of Reuters and responsible for its editorial operations, which has 2,500 journalists around the world. She reports to Alessandra Galloni, the editor-in-chief. Reuters announced Ms Chua’s departure from the company in a memo to staff on Tuesday.
Ms Chua, 60, was previously editor of the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong and the Asian edition of the Wall Street Journal. She is also one of the most experienced transgender journalists in the United States.
Ms Chua said in an interview that the role with the still-unnamed start-up “came out of nowhere.” She began talks with the Smiths (who are not related) in late January.
“I’ve certainly thought about the issues they want to address,” she said, “this notion of an overburdened, underserved audience and the importance of trying to find ways to provide information to people , information they need, timely and not overwhelming.
“Gina is a top-tier operations assistant who has spent her career obsessed with fixing the way stories are told to consumers in the US and across Asia,” said Ben Smith.
“Her career leading newsrooms in five countries for three decades, and her perspectives as an educated Singaporean in the Philippines and the United States, and as a trans Asian woman, are key to the global news organization. that we are trying to build,” he added. .
The Smiths said they want to create a medium that delivers unbiased journalism to a global audience. Axios recently announced that it was looking to raise $20-30 million from investors.
The Smiths have so far announced two other hires for their company: Steve Clemons of The Hill as editor to lead live journalism operations, and Caitlin Roman, formerly of The Athletic, who will serve as chief product officer. .
Ben Smith said Ms Chua would start in mid-April.