Post Names Continuous News Editor

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Rajiv Chandrasekaran, a Washington Post reporter who started as a summer intern 11 years ago and subsequently covered local and financial news and served as the newspaper's Baghdad bureau chief, has been named assistant managing editor for continuous news, the paper announced yesterday.

In his new job, Chandrasekaran, 32, of Washington, will head the department responsible for feeding breaking news to The Post's Web site. The announcement was made by Executive Editor Leonard Downie Jr. and Managing Editor Philip Bennett.

"Ever since he started as a summer intern, he has been one of the most energetic, smart and hard-driving journalists in the newsroom," Downie said. During the selection process, Chandrasekaran "demonstrated real vision about the future relationship between the newspaper and its Internet site," Downie said.

Chandrasekaran became the newspaper's Middle East correspondent in 2002 and moved to Baghdad on the eve of the U.S. invasion in March 2003.

In Baghdad, "he not only produced the best coverage of the American occupation, but he also managed the most complex and dangerous operation that the newspaper's ever had while being a pioneer in our efforts to expand our journalism across different media," Bennett said.

In a memo to the staff, the editors described Chandrasekaran as a "pioneer in the paper's growing multimedia operation" and "the ideal person to take the collaboration between the newsroom and to the next level, and beyond."

Chandrasekaran, who says he reads the paper exclusively online, said he spent "the better part of the day in a daze" when he received the news.

"I'm looking forward to working with my colleagues at The Post to create all sorts of new and compelling content for the Internet," he said. Among his priorities, he said, will be to increase interactivity with readers, use more video packaging and boost the number of blogs, or Web logs, on The Post's site.

Chandrasekaran is a native of the San Francisco Bay area and graduated from Stanford University. An Indian American, he is the newspaper's first Asian American assistant managing editor. He is completing a book about the U.S. occupation of Iraq and expects to move into his new post Jan. 1.

Lexie Verdon, who came to the newspaper in 1977 and started working in continuous news in 2000, will become the deputy assistant managing editor for continuous news.

© 2005 The Washington Post Company