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VandeHarris to Staff: ‘We Are Grooming the Next Generation of Great Reporters’

This just in…
A memo to Politico staff this morning.

An excerpt:
There is nothing we like better than ass-kicking coverage of Congress. It’s the one institution open enough, transparent enough to let enterprising reporters bring government figures and action to life almost every day. One of the main reasons we started POLITICO was because we knew in our guts – and from our experience – that there was a set of reporters who had the right moves, the right instincts, the right values to do just that. And we knew if we pulled it off, POLITICO would be indispensable reading for everyone who works in Congress – or cares about the institution.

We have been accused of hyperbole once or twice, but we can safely declare: we have officially pulled it off. We can not recall a more talented and relentless group of congressional reporters in all our years of Congress-watching. You guys rock – and the past few weeks amplify why.

Read the full letter from VandeHarris after the jump…


Gang,

There is nothing we like better than ass-kicking coverage of Congress. It’s the one institution open enough, transparent enough to let enterprising reporters bring government figures and action to life almost every day. One of the main reasons we started POLITICO was because we knew in our guts – and from our experience – that there was a set of reporters who had the right moves, the right instincts, the right values to do just that. And we knew if we pulled it off, POLITICO would be indispensable reading for everyone who works in Congress – or cares about the institution.

We have been accused of hyperbole once or twice, but we can safely declare: we have officially pulled it off. We can not recall a more talented and relentless group of congressional reporters in all our years of Congress-watching. You guys rock – and the past few weeks amplify why.

Rogers has reminded all of us what first-rate reporting and writing look like, with his unforgettable portraits of Charlie Wilson, Jack Murtha and, in today’s issue, Norm Dicks. Bresnahan showed that he’s still a scoop artist – between Marlboros and Hershey bars – with his exclusive on Massa. Jon Allen owned coverage of the Charlie Rangel saga, and made darn sure we didn’t get it wrong when others did. Many others contributed to the effort. Manu – who is challenging Mike Allen for most productive reporter in America – wrote too many front-page stories to rehash. Marty, who has grown into a great bureau chief, helped guide all of this AND keep our web page humming with quick bursts of news and analysis – and still duck away for the huddle.

The health coverage of Carrie, Patrick and tFrates has been ahead-of-the-curve and super smart, while Vicki and Lisa kept us in the game – and often ahead of competition – on energy and financial reform intrigue. Erika Lovley has beefed up our coverage of congressional staff with a steady stream of smart features – including a piece last week on the lack of Hispanics in top Hill jobs.

What’s even more exciting is that we are grooming the next generation of great reporters amid all of this. Kasie, James, Jake, Meredith and Marin are all popping terrific and timely scoops.

Kasie broke the news that the TSA is sitting on airport scanners purchased with stimulus funds. James was the first to report that Harry Reid was courting Scott Brown on the jobs bill. Jake was first on ToyotaÂ’s claim that Democrats arenÂ’t “industry friendly” – just one of his 50 bylines last month. Meredith is everywhere on the Hill, an in-demand partner for more senior reporters, and she led our site last week when Reid told Republicans to “stop crying” over reconciliation. Marin, our newest Congress reporter, is already making her mark with a mix of quick hits and sharp features.

We know you all work long, stressful hours. Please know how much John and I appreciate your efforts.

We can’t end this message without praising the maestro of this coverage: Mr. Grieve. The guys works seven days a week to make all of you – and all of us – look smarter. Thanks, Tim.

VandeHarris

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