At the time of her hire, managing editor of CNN Digital Meredith Artley said that Smolkin was brought on to make its work “bolder, buzzier and more essential to audiences in and outside of the beltway.”
FishbowlDC recently chatted with Smolkin, who’s almost two months in, on CNN’s latest hires, coverage for the midterm elections, and of course, her CNN work crush.
FishbowlDC: You’re on a hiring spree at CNN – what key journalistic qualities are you looking for in building your digital politics team?
Rachel Smolkin: ”I am so excited to build this great team. We’ve made terrific hires already, with many more to come. I’m looking for smart, original thinkers who want to create memorable work and experiment with their storytelling; for beautiful writers and sharp editors of both text and video; for journalists who can spot news but also know how to separate themselves from the pack. I want to bring together people who are eager to work as a team and to take full advantage of the amazing platform that CNN offers.”
FishbowlDC: We’re headed into midterms and you were with POLITICO, one of the biggest names in political news. What drew you to CNN?
Rachel Smolkin: ”I loved the idea of creating something new — a political news start-up, backed by the incredible talent and resources of CNN. The digital space is getting more crowded, and that’s challenging us as journalists to keep innovating. The most powerful, most beautifully told stories are still able to break through the clutter — and those should be a combination of the best traditional and emerging storytelling techniques in text, video and social media. In just a few weeks, we’ve already launched Peter Hamby’s Hambycast, and we’re looking forward to more exciting coverage in the weeks and months ahead.” Read more