Name: Taegan Goddard
Title: Creator and blogger
Outlet: Political Wire
Preferred e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Taegan Goddard launched Political Wire more than 10 years ago after working as a political aide. He talks with Frank Washkuch about the economy, healthcare, and the other issues he expects to cover this year.
In the past 12 years, a number of political sites have launched. How would you differentiate your site from them?
Goddard: Political Wire has… always been a place where you want to start your day and then return various times a day to find out what's going on in the world of politics. Unlike a lot of these other sites… we have a singular focus in that we have a very dedicated audience that returns throughout the day. It's a different type of focus, and the people who read Political Wire tend to be the political insiders and political junkies, the lawmakers and their staffs, journalists, and people who make a living in the world of public affairs.
How would you describe an ideal story for the blog?
Goddard: Because so many of the readers work in public affairs, many of the stories that are interesting to them are a paragraph buried deep in the last parts of a Washington Post or New York Times story. For instance, if there's a detail about the political infighting going on between key players of the Obama administration, that really isn't the lead story for most mainstream bloggers. But for Political Wire readers, that's what they're interested in. They're interested to find out where is the conflict and who is using that conflict to their advantage and to advance their goals.
What do you see as the big stories for the rest of the year?
Goddard: The economy is the big story, but the biggest political story is going to be the healthcare reform debate on Capitol Hill and how the various interest groups work that legislation as it moves through committees and ends up on the president's desk. That's going to be the big political story that's going to last through most of the summer and into the fall.
What type of people are pitching you stories?
Goddard: Every kind – you can tell a lot of media companies have PR firms that they've hired to try to pitch their stories. You also have the candidates who you know, and who send information all the time. And there are also plenty of people who don't use PR people, who come directly to me, and to others as well. And those that are probably the best at it are the ones who understand the site.