Hoffecker, a former editor at The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Los Angeles Times, Congressional Quarterly and Bloomberg, had served as NLP’s pro bono editor and Keeper of Standards since the project’s founding in February 2008. She will be the first employee to serve in the newly created staff position.
“Leslie has been an invaluable asset to NLP from Day One,” said NLP President Alan Miller, who worked with Hoffecker at the Los Angeles Times. “Her impressive skills as a writer and editor combined with her extensive knowledge of NLP make her a great addition at a time when we plan to dramatically raise our national profile.”
A graduate of Vassar College, Hoffecker began her journalism career as Philadelphia magazine’s copy editor — a position she obtained after noticing an unusual number of errors in an issue and writing to the editor to point them out. Her tenure at the Inquirer included a Pulitzer Prize for Local General or Spot News Reporting (as a member of the reporting and editing team that covered the Three Mile Island nuclear accident) and internal citations from the paper for her work on two other Pulitzer winners.
“I’m excited to be joining NLP full-time,” she said. “The recent furor over ‘fake news’ has only emphasized how important it is to make sure that students are taught how to know what to believe and how to share it responsibly.”
She also spent several years in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, as a stringer for The Associated Press and the editor of a joint program of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Saudi Ministry of Health that trained Arab physicians in disease control and surveillance. In addition, she worked for two years for a boutique public relations firm in Alexandria, Va., where she edited materials as varied as annual reports and communications strategies for U.S. government agencies and social media posts for nonprofits.
Hoffecker, Miller said, “will give NLP the capacity to create and share more content on social media and elsewhere to help meet the growing demand for news literacy education.”