New York Times national editor Jia Lynn Yang and deputy national editor Monica Davey sent out the following on Friday:
Being Atlanta bureau chief requires an impressive range of skills: You have to be fearless about jumping into any story that might emerge from seven of the newsiest states in the country. You have to write like a poet on deadline. And your intellectual range has to span everything from politics to hurricanes to all the inimitable subcultures of the South.
Since 2014, Richard Fausset has shown us all how to do it with panache and unparalleled collegiality. He has anchored some of the country’s biggest stories in recent years: He covered the Charleston, S.C., church massacre in 2015 and wrote extensively about working-class voters in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election. In 2020, he was one of the very first members of the national media to call attention to the murder of Ahmaud Arbery — and then followed that story through to its dramatic conclusion in the courtroom. He has tracked the political evolution of Georgia, most recently delivering scoop after scoop on the Fulton County investigation into Trump and the 2020 election.
Richard will stay on that major news story, while also moving on to a new beat. For National he’ll be covering conservative culture around the country, including a closer look at the world of guns. Conservative culture in America is in flux — increasingly divorced from traditional churchgoing and often revolving around Trump but not always. Richard will help make sense of it all from his base in Atlanta.
With Richard moving on, we’re excited to share that our new Atlanta bureau chief will be Rick Rojas.
Since joining National in 2019 from Metro, Rick has shown a flair for writing unforgettable stories from every conceivable corner of the South. He is deeply devoted to the craft of journalism — always pushing himself to spot the perfect human detail to bring out the deepest emotions in a story. Some highlights: A gorgeous piece on mariachi bands traveling to Uvalde to help grieving families; a story about Black Lives Matter protests making their way to a small town in Mississippi; and a moving dispatch on John Lewis’s final posthumous trip to Selma.
Rick also has a light touch on the keyboard. After getting stuck in traffic behind one too many retrofitted tractors packed with revelers, he captured the mayhem of Nashville’s out-of-control party bus scene. During an embed with Sports to cover the 2022 Winter Olympics, he was put on the curling beat, and produced a piece with pure charm on amateur bagpipers from Beijing.
Rick has been based in Nashville but will be soon moving back to Atlanta, where he will lead our coverage of a region that is critical to understanding this country.
Please join us in congratulating Richard and Rick on what they’ve already accomplished and on their new roles.