Los Angeles Times Managing Editor S. Mitra Kalita announced in a memo to staff on Monday that the Times has added a reporter to cover Black Twitter.

Dexter Thomas joins us today to cover Black Twitter (which really is so much more complicated than that). He will work closely with the newsroom and #EmergingUS to find communities online (Black Medium to Latino Tumblr to Line in Japan) and both create stories with and pull stories from those worlds. Dexter is from San Bernardino and is a doctoral candidate in East Asian studies at Cornell University. He has taught media studies and Japanese and is writing a book about Japanese hip-hop. He began working in digital media at UC Riverside as a student director of programming at KUCR-FM (88.3), independently producing podcasts, music and news programs. He writes regularly on social justice, Internet and youth culture, and video games.

Kalita, who is adjunct faculty at Poynter, also announced several other job moves in the memo. Here it is in full:

To: The Staff
From: S. Mitra Kalita, Managing Editor

Here are four more reasons the @latimes is #winning.

We are pleased to announce additions to our audience engagement team under the direction of Alexandra Manzano. This will no longer be a team that only tweets or posts to Facebook. Platforms such as Twitter and Facebook are simply one component of our strategy to build readership. For our stories to “do better on social,” we must think about audience and shareability at the outset. Our new colleagues will work across the newsroom to guide experimental storytelling, story selection, distribution and partnerships, and conversations with and among Times readers.

Michelle Maltais becomes deputy director for audience engagement. Together, she and Ali will develop strategies that strengthen The Times’ connection to community and conversation. She'll also help train staff around the newsroom on new tools and techniques, and resuscitate efforts around our coverage of parenting. Michelle started with the Times in 1996. She has been an award-winning copy editor, multimedia producer, web deputy, the newsroom's first broadcast manager, a tech blogger and a reader engagement emissary. She earned her bachelor's from Scripps College and a master's in journalism from Columbia and is a proud graduate of the Metpro copy editing program. Michelle and her husband live in Baldwin Vista with their two kids, who are already huge fans of the L.A. Times and “Star Wars.”

Dexter Thomas joins us today to cover Black Twitter (which really is so much more complicated than that). He will work closely with the newsroom and #EmergingUS to find communities online (Black Medium to Latino Tumblr to Line in Japan) and both create stories with and pull stories from those worlds. Dexter is from San Bernardino and is a doctoral candidate in East Asian studies at Cornell University. He has taught media studies and Japanese and is writing a book about Japanese hip-hop. He began working in digital media at UC Riverside as a student director of programming at KUCR-FM (88.3), independently producing podcasts, music and news programs. He writes regularly on social justice, Internet and youth culture, and video games.

Annie Yu arrived recently as a producer. She will help define the voice of the L.A. Times and infuse shareability into our journalism through creative storytelling and packaging. Annie joins us after working at ProPublica in New York City as an audience engagement fellow. This video she created became ProPublica's most successful piece of Facebook content ever. Before that, Annie reported on city hall for the Arizona Republic and local news for the Orange County Register. She is a Bay Area native and graduated from Azusa Pacific University, where she served as editor in chief of the newspaper.

Lisa Biagiotti joins us July 13 in a role straddling video and social. She will work closely with our photo, video, social, RealTime and Metro desks to help make multimedia offerings newsy, creative and shareable. Lisa, a New Jersey native who has been in L.A. for two years, has been an independent journalist and filmmaker. She was an inaugural Sundance New Frontier artist in residence at the MIT Media Lab. Lisa is the director-producer of “deepsouth” (2014), an award-winning documentary about poverty, HIV and LGBTQ issues in the rural American South. Lisa has produced work for the New Yorker, the Atlantic, The Times, PBS and NPR, among other media platforms. Her work in eastern Congo won the 2009 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for International Television. In 2001, she received a Fulbright Award to research Italian colonialism in Africa and Muslim immigration patterns throughout Europe. Lisa holds a master's degree from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.

Please join us in welcoming our new hires. Following them on Twitter is a good start @mmaltaisLA, @AnnieZYu, @dexdigi and @lisabiagiotti.

On Monday, Stereo Williams wrote about "The Power of Black Twitter" for The Daily Beast.

In the past three years, Twitter has become a necessary platform for dissent, discussion, breaking news and, yes, trends. And in the case of what has become colloquially known as “Black Twitter,” all of those things have gelled to create an online culture of black intellectuals, trendsetters, and talking heads giving voice to many of the issues that 20 years ago would’ve remained far away from the mainstream radar. The murders of Trayvon Martin and Mike Brown, the reality of street harassment, the racial crisis brewing in the Dominican Republic—these are all stories that became of major importance because Black Twitter made sure the world understood what was happening. And with popular hashtags like #YouOKSis and #BringBackOurGirls becoming recognized all over the world, it’s impossible to ignore how Black Twitter has been able to affect change and raise awareness.

Last month, Morgan Jerkins wrote for Pacific Standard about what Black Twitter meant for her as a writer.

This formidable segment of the wildly popular social media network has not only sparked international movements and powerful discussions from which mainstream media profits, but has also propelled the writing careers of many individuals, myself included. Once I included the word writer in my bio and followed several other black writers, I found that there were always conversations that went on for hours about freelancing and mentoring. I saw plenty of writers, like the New York Post’s Jozen Cummings and The Butter’s Mensah Demary, tweet about their openness to helping other people of color. Sooner rather than later, I reached out to them and, to this day, I find their advice invaluable. Once I felt comfortable reaching out to two people, I contacted several others. I got the vibe that we were all trying to build each other up.

Correction: An earlier version of this story misspelled Morgan Jerkins' name and misgendered her. It has been corrected.