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Atlantic’s Defense One gets its first news editor from NPR

Betsy Rothstein Gossip blogger
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No doubt a step in the right direction, Defense One is getting its first news editor. It’s Ben Watson, who comes to the outlet from NPR’s “All Things Considered” and “Here and Now.” He certainly has relevant experience as spent five years in the U.S. Army as an award-winning combat cameraman. He was also a media advisor for the southern Afghanistan special ops command in 2011. Watson will report to Kevin Baron, Defense One‘s Executive Editor.

His hiring is the latest expansion by Atlantic Media‘s newest brand. Earlier this month, Patrick Tucker joined as technology editor, and Daniela Fayer of Government Executive Media Group, a division of Atlantic Media, was promoted to Associate Publisher. Stephanie Gaskell, who has been with the site since its launch last summer, was recently promoted to deputy editor.

See the memo from Baron below.

Hello everyone,

I’m excited to announce that Ben Watson is joining Defense One as our first news editor! Ben comes highly recommended to us from NPR, where he worked as a production and editorial assistant for NPR’s “All Things Considered” and “Here and Now,” here in Washington, D.C. Ben served for five years in the U.S. Army as an award-winning combat cameraman. He also served as a media adviser for southern Afghanistan’s special operations command during the 2011 surge. Ben brings a great mix of editorial experience and knowledge of the military and national security issues. He’ll also bring two much-needed extra hands to some of _WU7HrQsthe most crucial aspects of Defense One’s success. For some companies, adding one more staffer is no big deal. For us, it’s a 25% increase! Ben will start on Thursday, March 6, so I hope you’ll welcome him as the newest member of our growing team.

A special thanks goes out to Stephanie Gaskell for pulling Ben out of the biggest applicant pool we’ve had for a Defense One job posting yet. When we posted the “news editor” position, the interest shown by some of the top talent in Washington, New York, and beyond, of people just looking for a way to get a foot in the door to Defense One astounded me. It’s a testament to the hard work of the dozens of our GEMG and Atlantic teammates that continue to work toward Defense One’s success, which astounds me even more.

I look forward to continued growth in the quality of our journalism — first — and the mark Defense One is making in digital media with the Atlantic Media family.

Thanks again, and have a great weekend,