Charlie Cook has been watching presidential and congressional politics for decades. Here’s his assessment of 2020.
The 2020 election will be awash in polls, but reporters must learn to be wary of the weak ones.
The Associated Press’ top vote counter explains the presidential primary process and how delegates are awarded and counted.
Between legal challenges over gerrymandering and the normal redistricting process, a lot could change in congressional districts in 2020.
Two experts on the administrative rulemaking process describe how the White House can wield its power through regulations.
Greg Ip of The Wall Street Journal has been watching the economy for years. He offers a primer on how to do so.
It’s important to watch Washington’s budget – as well as the individual states that budget impact.
Reporters adept at covering the federal budget can find the money angle in just about every potential story.
Dan Balz has spent a lot of time observing and reporting on something that used to be rare in politics: impeachment.
Lata Nott, executive director, First Amendment Center, Freedom Forum Institute
The Paul Miller fellows share their experiences about the program and tell us how it has helped them grow as Washington journalists.
Courts coverage gives an insight into human lives and legal minds. Veterans on the beat describe how they cover it.
A law professor and former journalist cautions reporters to not read too much into each decision and action by the court.
Going on television can amplify a reporter’s work – if they don’t choke while on the air.
Good investigation is a matter of both planning and luck – and being able to jump on the opportunity.
Former Washington reporter John Farrell now writes critically acclaimed biographies. Many of the tools he uses are the same as he used in the newsroom.
Two experts on using the Freedom of Information Act pull back the curtain on the process.
Carnegie Mellon University resource pulls in 800 different data layers to allow reporters to document a changing planet.
An Associated Press photographer offers simple tips for making the most of your phone camera.
A news graphics designer shares tips for producing simple but well-designed graphics to illustrate your stories.
Podcasting is the current “it” thing in journalism. An NPR veteran explains how to do it.
The Fed is more than just the body that sets interest rates.
Journalists who cover money and politics share strategies for getting inside the process.
Research organization helps reporters keep tabs on the campaign finances of federal candidates.
Military reporters offer tips on how to cover war, money and bureaucracy.
The Stimson Center, a foreign policy think tank, gave NPF fellows insight on Russia, North Korea and other hotspots.
A pivot away from counterterrorism and toward China and Russia is fundamentally changing how the Pentagon operates.
Interviews with the president sometimes come out of the blue. How do reporters prepare for the unexpected?
Young reporters hitch a ride on campaigns as so-called “embeds,” chronicling every step of a presidential campaign from the earliest primary action.
Fact-checkers came of age a decade ago and are now fully immersed in the journalism process. How do they do it?
Unlike the smoke-filled back rooms of old, modern presidential campaigns are built on a sequence of state contests that continue to grow in importance.
Political polarization in Congress is at levels not seen in more than a hundred years. Will it be possible for anything to get done?
To watch all the video in C-SPAN’s library would take a quarter of a century. Here’s how journalists can make use of it.
Covering Congress means more than chasing lawmakers down the halls of the Capitol.
An expert on the nation’s budget process gives tips on where it is going – and how reporters can cover it.
When Uncle Sam Doles Out Money, it Impacts Statehouses
Two reporters well-versed in the federal budget lay out their tips and strategies for covering a behemoth spending plan that never goes the way it’s supposed to.
Three experts provide tips and resources for reporting on the congressional oversight investigations.
When does acceptable redistricting cross over into unacceptable gerrymandering? An elections expert explains.
Two elections veterans share the inside scoop on how votes are counted and how races are called on election night.
A leading presidential and congressional historian gives an overview of wave elections – 1974, 1994, 2010 – and those that came before.
Amy Walter, one of the nation’s leading political analysts, gives an overview of what could happen in the 2018 midterm elections – and what the results might mean down the road.
Political and social issue polling is being conducted by an increasing array of media, political and advocacy organizations. Some are reliable. Many aren’t.
Lyle Denniston has covered the Supreme Court for 60 years. How he and other court reporters keep on top of the law in a real-time world.
The country occasionally is roiled by fights over putting justices on the nation’s highest court for life. Is it getting more intense?
Over half a century, legendary reporter Sy Hersh helped define the craft of source-driven investigative reporting. What are his secrets?
It’s a tall order for time-crunched journalists to find the hours to write a book; an award-winning journalist and author reveals how he does so.
The best reporters in the business have a range of techniques – but there are some strategies and tactics they all share.
First Amendment lawyer Kevin Goldberg makes a game of law and the media – literally. Play along with his Jeopardy-style law review.
Enterprising reporters can find a wealth of story ideas beyond the Supreme Court.
Reporters well-versed in covering the Supreme Court and other courts share how they find and execute stories on such a tradition-bound beat.
Knowing what your competitors and sources are tweeting and posting can help you stay on top of a beat.
Journalists today need to be all things to all platforms. So how can journalists trained on the writing side handle their own graphics and photos?
Journalists need to prepare for time on TV. It’s not just a simple, friendly conversation.
Top investigative reporters share their advice on how to use data to find stories nobody else has.
Imports have overrun some U.S. industries. While curbing them could help those industries, experts are unsure how other markets will be affected.
A FOIA expert shows how reporters can break through a tangled web of statutes, case law, regulations and written and unwritten policies to pry loose information.
Reporters who use FOIA regularly know the tricks for making it work to your advantage.
Reporters covering immigration and border security describe complex beat that is continually in the spotlight.
Is an agreement on U.S. immigration policy possible in these polarized times?
Presidential job approval numbers and economic health are key to the outcomes of midterm elections.
Two campaign finance experts from different sides of the issue dissect the role of money in politics – and whether it’s good for democracy or bad.
In a post-Citizens United world, money has rushed in unprecedented ways to politicians on both sides of the aisle. Four journalists detail how they document it.
In an era of ubiquitous polls – and after problems in polling the 2016 election – two top polling editors give a tutorial on how to separate the wheat from the chaff.
Laws passed on Capitol Hill get all the glory, but understanding the nitty-gritty of the regulatory process can give reporters a leg up.
Going to work at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. every day has it perks, but four reporters explain how they work to maintain sources outside as well.
Washington Post and PolitiFact journalists describe how fact-checkers debunk falsehoods.
Congress is a place where laws are made. But for reporters on the Hill, it’s also a massive institution that sometimes spends money in unusual ways worth tracking.
With a new census on the horizon and control of the U.S. House at stake, the U.S. Supreme Court is trying to decide whether partisan gerrymandering has gone too far.
For military reporters, the Pentagon offers endless stories – from combat operations to one of the largest HMOs in the world.
Three experts from think tank Stimson Center give Paul Miller fellows an overview of the key challenges the U.S. faces around the world.
From Signal to WhatsApp, there are several tools reporters can use to keep conversations with sources secure.
Is the military well-staffed and technologically advanced enough for handling the range of threats the U.S. now faces?
Some people love to hate Washington, but the fiscal ties between the federal government and states run deep.
The tax system is a mess, most experts agree – but changing it is exceedingly difficult. How might it happen?
If the federal government can’t pay its debts, it could play havoc on financial markets. So why does Congress regularly threaten to do so?
Congress rarely passes budgets the way it’s supposed to – but that doesn’t mean the spending stops. Where is federal spending headed next?
As reporters explore the dysfunctional federal budget process, they should keep in mind who is affected by it (and that doesn’t mean politicians and lobbyists).
Some top investigative reporters share their advice on how to dig deep for stories that would otherwise remain hidden.
Reporters well-versed in tracking political donations know that the best stories come from deciphering why donors give – and what they expect in return.
Tips for reporters trying to document the influence of money on politics.
Do limits on campaign donations create better governance? Or are they an infringement on free speech?
The Legal Framework for the Campaign Finance System Involves More Than Just Citizens United
Resources for journalists who want to follow the money trail at the state and local level.
One of the top journalists of the day, Martha Raddatz shared with Paul Miller fellows what she has learned over her career.
The Department of Defense is a behemoth, and three reporters skilled in covering it said it’s also filled with endless stories that impact people’s lives.
The military has been stretched thin the past two decades, but that doesn’t mean it’s been depleted. Some tips on how to recognize the difference.
Donald Trump campaigned on promises of a big boost in military spending. An expert gives tips on tracking that $600 billion.
When reporters get called to share their expertise on air, they need to remember to sit up straight and stay on-message. A veteran TV producer shares some tips.
Curbing the flow of imports into the United States was one of President Trump’s campaign pledges. Can he accomplish it?
A multimedia producer for USA Today shows that your smartphone is good for more than just selfies.
While Donald Trump won the presidency with an anti-free trade message, public opinion isn’t fixed on that position.
The flow of immigrants into the United States has waxed and waned over the decades as Congress and presidents responded to demands of the voters.
Understanding the nuances of the law and the frailities of the human condition are vital to reporting on immigration.
FOIA has been around for 50 years, and recent changes could help the press – and the public – get access to government records.
11 million unauthorized immigrants live in the United States and thousands more are arrested trying to get here each year.
As White House access and coverage has changed, reporters on the beat need to find new ways to get information.
Can the public-private partnership envisioned by the new administration patch up the nation’s crumbling roads?
Tax breaks to keep a company in town are often popular, but reporters need to dig deep to see if they are worth the cost.
Killing President Obama’s signature health care law has been a GOP priority for years; what will happen as it tries to do so?
President Obama expanded environmental regulations through the federal rulemaking process; President Trump will be able to undo them that way as well.
More than other D.C. beats, Congress can be free-wheeling and accessible – especially for the reporters who know where to look and aren’t afraid to ask questions.
Checks and balances – and politics – will pose some limitations on one-party control at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue.
Even if he didn’t have Congress on his side, Donald Trump will start his presidency with the ability to quickly undo much of what the outgoing president did.
Early signs are that Trump White House will stiff-arm journalists, although some access is protected by law.
Two journalists steeped in budget arcana give tips on how to understand what’s actually happening when Congress and the White House talk taxes and spending.
Journalists looking to make Washington spending relevant in home markets are able to track federal spending to statehouses.
An advocate calling on Congress and the White House to curb their debt addiction says reporters should seek to understand the government’s arcane budgeting process.
Experts with political watchdog organization track the so-called “revolving door” between government and special interests – and how reporters can use the information for stories.
Reporters covering a transition in power in Washington are in for some big surprises – and several veteran journalists offer tips on how to deal with them.
For the first time, a nonpartisan organization is guiding the presidential transition process months before the new president is sworn in.
With landlines disappearing and online methods expanding, pollsters confront a wealth of new challenges to discern political preferences.
Expert fact-checkers from The Washington Post, PolitiFact document how they dig in on what candidates say.
Courts offer rich trove of stories and sources, and most of them are overlooked by beat reporters.
In digging up the history of Exxon’s role researching climate change, reporter Neela Banerjee combined shoe-leather reporting with a sophisticated understanding of science.
Interested in breaking the big story? For these top journalists, doing so takes time, specialized skills and persistence.
The courts beat is rich with potential stories, well beyond the Supreme Court.
Journalists share their knowledge about covering presidential nominating conventions – and the possibility of a brokered GOP convention.
A former federal transportation official says road financing needs to be rethought so cities can be designed better.
Airline expert says U.S. should follow the lead of other nations and restructure its air traffic control system.
Transportation expert says Congress needs to revamp how it finances the highway system – and get away from its current “reactionary” approach.
Three journalists share tips and strategies for covering the range of America’s infrastructure – from trains to driverless cars of the future.
A broadcasting legend and author of a recent book on the electric grid says the nation faces a bigger threat than it realizes.
Whether asking for details on health care costs, or if city streets have been plowed after a big storm, tapping your audience can yield new information.
USA Today’s Jasper Colt, a multimedia producer, offers practical tips for taking and editing photos and videos, with the help of a few easy-to-use apps.
Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press on how journalists can make the most of public records laws – and also how to best work the system.
Do your homework, practice what you want to say, and don’t wear anything that distracts from your message.
Reporters Devise Strategies to Work Around Limited Flow of Information
For guidance, two veteran journalists offer guidance on experts and the data sources you need.
A veteran data journalist explains how to find and work with data from the federal government.