John Burns isn’t the only one making a big move these days: several New York Times reporters will be shifting around the world in the coming months, according to two internal announcements. Deputy foreign editor Ethan Bronner will become Jerusalem bureau chief, and there are new assignments for several others, including Edward Wong, Steve Erlanger, Elaine Sciolino, Craig Smith, Robert Worth, Barry Bearak, and Celia Dugger. And Hassan Fattah is leaving the paper altogether; he’ll be managing editor of a new English-language, pan-Arab daily.
Here are the memos:
It’s truly with a heavy heart that I announce something that’s already gotten around: Ethan is going to become Jerusalem bureau chief. The graceful writing and incisive story sense that marked his tenure as deputy he will now unleash on one of our most demanding assignments. It’s going to be great fun for him, and I am going to miss him like crazy. He’s been a great partner: sharp and quick on the news; deft and clear-headed in conceptualizing and editing stories; a compassionate ear for many of you; a source of great humor, calm, and kindness on our desk; and a stimulating, provocative presence that kept all of us, me not least, reaching higher. My loss will be the readers’ gain.
Please consider this a formal posting for the deputy job. We are still working out the precise timing of Ethan’s move — some time in the first half of 2008.
We are delighted to announce that the powerful team of Barry Bearak and Celia Dugger will be back in action, this time in South Africa. We were able to lure Barry away from his distinguished turn as writer for the Times magazine and journalism professor and to persuade Celia to move her global poverty beat to Johannesburg. She and Barry will continue writing on that theme, as well as the extraordinary canvas that is southern Africa. They move this winter.
Steve Erlanger, whose three-plus years in Jerusalem have produced insight-filled coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from the death of Arafat, the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, the Lebanon war, and the Hamas takeover of Gaza will move to Paris early next year to become bureau chief.
Elaine Sciolino, who between her dazzling coverage of the French election and the Iran nuclear issue has been a linchpin in our coverage of terrorism in Europe, will take up terrorism and nuclear proliferation as her full-time beat in the coming year. She will remain Paris-based, but will travel around Europe tracking the rise of the jihadi threat, the IAEA and Iran’s nuclear program. She will jointly report to Investigations and Foreign.
Craig Smith, who ranged from unrest in the banlieue to tumult in Eastern Europe to terrorism in Northern Africa, is beginning language training in Japanese this year, in preparation for moving to Tokyo over the summer.
Ed Wong, our prescient chronicler of Iraq, has finally torn himself away from the story he told so well and has begun Chinese training, in preparation for a move to Beijing this spring.
Bobby Worth, another stalwart on our Baghdad team, has been studying Arabic over the past year in preparation for replacing Hassan Fattah in the Mideast. We are still conferring about exactly where he will be based, but are delighted that we could pull off what has long been overdue systematic Arabic training to help cover this crucial region.
Hassan Fattah, who has been an anchor for us in Dubai, dashing off to story after story around the region, is resigning to take up an exciting opportunity, becoming managing editor of a new English-language pan-Arab daily. Hassan originally came to our attention through his work founding Iraq Today, an English-language newspaper in Iraq. He will be mentoring young Arab journalists, and we wish him well. Thanassis Cambanis, who covered the region for the Boston Globe, will fill in over the next two months until Bobby is ready to move toward the end of this year.
Susan and Ethan