Media News

NY Times names Stevis-Gridneff its Canada bureau chief

June 14, 2024

Posted by Chris Roush

Matina Stevis-Gridneff

New York Times international editor Phil Pan sent out the following:

She broke the news that the European Union had agreed to ban Russian oil. She got the global exclusive on how the European Union struck a deal with Pfizer for billions of Covid-19 vaccines. She revealed how the Greek authorities stood by and watched as a disabled migrant ship sank, leading to the deaths of more than 600 people in a maritime disaster that shocked Europe.

Throughout her time as Brussels bureau chief, Matina Stevis-Gridneff has churned out scoop after scoop. Now, we are thrilled to announce that she is bringing her investigative chops and beat reporting prowess to a new continent: She is our new Canada bureau chief.

Canada is not only a huge, diverse country with a wealth of fantastic stories; it is also a clear priority for The Times, central to our push to deliver our journalism to the broadest audience possible. We’ve been covering Canada since our first year of operation as a newspaper in 1851, and in the digital age the nation has become one of our biggest audiences outside of the United States. We are determined to keep expanding it.

Matina is a natural choice to help us do that, and she has already sketched out a smart list of storylines and coverage priorities that dovetail with our vision for the post. During her time in Brussels, she regularly demonstrated her deep understanding of what it means to be a bureau chief, showing great skill and perseverance in developing sources within often opaque and difficult-to-penetrate E.U. bureaucracies, talents that will serve her well in Canada.

She also brings great interpersonal skills — enthusiasm, diligence, creativity and collegiality — that will help build on our excellent Canada coverage, anchored by Norimitsu Onishi, Ian Austen and Vjosa Isai, and propel it even further. Climate change, immigration, a looming national election, the ailing health care system, soaring housing costs and the country’s reckoning with the treatment of its Indigenous population are just some of the major topics she will tackle in her new role.

“Matina has been a hard-driving scoop machine and set a new bar for us on building sources, breaking news and bringing real energy and excitement to the Brussels beat,” said Kirk Kraeutler, a senior editor on International.

“Matina traffics in the most precious of commodities: the scoop,” said Matt Apuzzo, our investigations editor. “She brought a competitive, accountability mind-set to a beat that needed it.”

Matina was part of a Times team that became a Pulitzer finalist for International Reporting, for pandemic coverage, but her accomplishments go well beyond that. She revealed how Iran was holding an E.U. diplomat hostage for over a year without the public’s knowing. She broke news that the European Union was preparing to let vaccinated Americans enter the continent, at a time when travel was still banned because of the pandemic. She also produced a great run of feature stories, like the one about a Belgian town’s unique tradition of hosting people with psychiatric disorders within the community.

But of the hundreds of stories she’s done for The Times over the past five years, she says she is proudest of her reporting last year on the abuses that asylum seekers face at Europe’s borders. One of the stories that she and her colleagues produced revealed how the Greek authorities rounded up migrant children and deliberately set them adrift at sea on an inflatable raft, in brazen violation of the law. That story forced the Greek prime minister to order an investigation into the illegal ditching of migrants at sea, while another helped inform an investigation by the Greek authorities into the shipwreck that left more than 600 people dead.

Matina came to The Times in 2019 from Nairobi, where she had been based as the East Africa correspondent for The Wall Street Journal. At The Journal, she and her colleagues won recognition for their coverage of the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max crash in 2019, which she reported from Ethiopia. She has also been recognized for her reporting from inside Eritrea on the plight of Eritrean refugees.

Educated at Oxford University and the London School of Economics, she trained in English-language journalism at The Economist, but started her career as a reporter with local papers in her hometown, Athens. Apart from her native Greek, she speaks some German and French, which she hopes to improve in her new posting.

Please join us in congratulating Matina.

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