116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Expect more reporting on a consistent basis in The Gazette about what the congressional delegation representing Eastern Iowa is doing in Washington, D.C.
We've signed a contract for coverage from a non-profit news operation in Washington called Capitol News Connection. We hope this enhances what you already expect from The Gazette about things that matter in our part of the state.
We think this coverage will be important, even with the newspaper's focus on local news. I continually encounter people who want local news but who also want to keep an eye on what their elected representatives are doing in Congress. Moves made in Washington become local when they affect your personal health care, lifestyles and, especially, pocketbook. We're talking, here, about taxes and how the government spends money.
“The general population is consuming more news than it's consumed at any time in history,” Hoag Levins, Capitol News Connection's new vice president for news and interactive, said when I talked with him on the phone late last month.
Small business operators want to know how moves in Washington affect their credit and taxes – anything that affects their ability to be profitable, Levins said. Baby boomers wonder how policies from Washington will affect the valuations of their homes, or their retirement accounts, he added.
And they want to learn it in depth, beyond what they hear from broadcast outlets, Levins said.
Levins is a print guy who has branched into multimedia news. His experience includes turns as editor of Crain Communication's AdAge.com, executive editor of Editor & Publisher and founder of the criminal justice news site, APBnews.com
The Gazette had a Washington bureau for many years. David Lynch staffed it from 1982 until 1998, when he died. E. Michael Myers staffed the bureau from early 1999 until stepping away late last year.
Capitol News Connection has been covering Washington, D.C., for public radio stations for several years. Go to the Iowa Public Radio Web site, scroll down and look in the lower right hand corner of the screen for the feature Ask Your Lawmaker. It's a Capitol News Connection feature, available on a lot of public radio Web sites.
Capitol News Connection's move to print is new and The Gazette is one of the first newspapers to sign up for that coverage. The coverage will focus mainly on Capitol Hill.
We like what we hear when Levins says, as he did in the recent phone conversation, that people delving into an issue want to know: What does this mean? “Our job here, at CNC, is to help answer that question,” he said.