Prior to joining The Atlantic in March 2018, she was a White House correspondent from 2008-18 for the Los Angeles Times. She covered three presidential elections and previously wrote about Illinois politics for the Chicago Tribune. 
She has reported from 30 countries and covered three presidential campaigns. As a political writer, she charted the ascent of Barack Obama from the Illinois statehouse to the U.S. Senate and the White House. 
While a politics and government reporter for the Chicago Tribune, Parsons chronicled the rise and fall of two Illinois governors and reported on wrongful convictions as part of a team whose work prompted the Illinois governor to clear death row. 
She served as president of the White House Correspondents Association in 2015. As president and board member, she led the press corps in fighting for access to information from the White House. Throughout her career, she has worked to recruit and mentor younger journalist.