Jtm-mn-bio-Edward Hodgman

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Edward Hodgman
Executive Director
Understanding Government
1319 F St. NW, Suite 810
Washington DC 20004 202-783-2439

I became executive director of Understanding Government in 2007, after working in Washington, Moscow, and New York and receiving a bachelor.s degree in Russian studies from Harvard and a Ph.D. in American history from the University of Rochester. Understanding Government, created by Washington Monthly founder Charles Peters, works to improving public understanding of the executive branch. The executive branch is where policy is implemented, the people.s money is spent, and millions of Americans work. Yet the real work of the executive branch . in scores of major federal agencies and their counterparts on the state and local levels . is substantially unknown, particularly since major news outlets have largely dropped beat coverage of major federal agencies. As part of our overall journalism program, we want to foster web-based reporting on what the federal government is doing in states and localities across the country, and learn about coordinating Washington, D.C. and local reporting efforts.

  1. How to reach out to local reporters, bloggers, and interested citizens to develop an audience and contributors to the

issue we are interested in (executive branch performance)

  1. The status of local online reporting about government and politics (both MSM and non-MSM)
  2. If and how readers become commenters, commenters become bloggers, and bloggers become reporters.
  3. Interest in reporting on federal government activities on the local level.


We are just getting started, but we have some experience in providing reports on major government activities and agencies in ways that have proven popular to our readers. We have some background in reporting on government agencies that might be interesting to people tackling "large" concepts or institutions. These things are more a point of view than a set strategy or methodology, but we could talk about those issues informally.