John Dickerson, Slate. A CBS analyst and prolific Twitterer in addition to being Slate’s chief political correspondent, Dickerson brings smarts, a sharp eye, and a dry wit to covering Washington.
Maureen Dowd, New York Times. Acerbic, sure. Yet MoDo on a bad day is still head and shoulders above some political observers on their best.
Howard Fineman, Newsweek. A force on the Web, in print, and on TV—where he appears on MSNBC and the Today show—Fineman is a strong multimedia voice.
Thomas Friedman, New York Times. While his folksy style turns off some, it makes his writing accessible to millions, and his reporting is backed up by the thousands of miles a year he travels to abide by his philosophy: “If you don’t go, you don’t know.”
Joshua Green, Atlantic. His insightful postmortem on Hillary Clinton’s failed presidential campaign underscored that Green will be a force in political reporting for the next generation.
Jan Crawford Greenburg, ABC. Covering the camera-unfriendly Supreme Court for TV is no easy task, yet Greenburg handles the task with aplomb.
David Gregory, NBC. Now filling big shoes at Meet the Press, Gregory—who made his name in combative White House press briefings under President George W. Bush—is the picture of reasoned Sunday-morning discourse.
Gwen Ifill, PBS. If you want an idea of how respected the groundbreaking Ifill is, she’s giving not one but four commencement addresses this spring.
Michael Isikoff, Newsweek. The Obama administration is quickly learning what several previous administrations know about this top investigative reporter: One of Washington’s scariest phrases is “Mike Isikoff’s calling.”
Al Kamen, Washington Post. Year after year, his pioneering In the Loop column remains the center of the government-gossip conversation.
Colbert I. King, Washington Post. The Pulitzer Prize–winning columnist cares deeply about the District and holds accountable those who seek to run it.
John King, CNN. The new face of CNN’s Sunday-morning four-hour talkfest, King is a big presence on the worldwide CNN platform.
Mark Knoller, CBS. Even the White House turns to the tireless CBS Radio dean for his meticulous records of presidential goings-on.
Howard Kurtz, Washington Post. The CNN host and Post columnist covers the shrinking media world as no one else does.
Mark Leibovich, New York Times. Why anyone agrees to be followed around by this scribe is a mystery, given that his incisive profiles lay bare a subject’s every flaw and vulnerability with a surgeon’s eye.
Alan Levin, USA Today. Business travelers around the country rely on USA Today’s aviation writer to bring them news about the industry everyone loves to hate.
Ryan Lizza, New Yorker. The top writer covering the Democratic Party today, this New Republic veteran excels in long form.
Lara Logan, CBS. Balancing globetrotting with motherhood, Logan makes her job as lead foreign correspondent look easier than it is.
Jane Mayer, New Yorker. Much of what we know about the “dark side” of the war on terror we know because of Mayer’s original, groundbreaking reporting.
Dana Milbank, Washington Post. While his humor can skew into the juvenile and often comes at the expense of the well-intentioned, Milbank’s take on Washington is always worth reading.
Andrea Mitchell, NBC. The peacock channel’s go-to reporter for just about any major Washington story—also known socially as Mrs. Alan Greenspan—is incredibly well connected.
Brody Mullins, Wall Street Journal. A rising star and an award-winning scandal breaker, Mullins represents the next generation of investigative reporter.
Adam Nagourney, New York Times. Few bylines carry the weight in politics that Nagourney’s does—and with good reason: Few match his insight, analysis, or depth of sources.
Michele Norris, NPR. A soothing voice for millions of commuters during All Things Considered, Norris always asks good questions.
Dana Priest, Washington Post. Whether the story is CIA “black sites” overseas or black mold at Walter Reed, Priest’s byline often means someone will soon be facing a congressional-oversight hearing.
Todd S. Purdum, Vanity Fair. President Clinton may have called him “sleazy,” “slimy,” and a “scumbag” after a particularly cutting piece last year, but most others would agree that Purdum writes what everyone else is thinking.
Eugene Robinson, Washington Post. With a brand-new and well-deserved Pulitzer for his campaign coverage, Robinson is relishing writing about the Obama White House in his op-ed column.
David E. Sanger, New York Times. Smart and thoughtful, Sanger is the epitome of a low-profile scribe who lets his work stand for itself.
Charlie Savage, New York Times. Savage’s work at the Boston Globe on presidential signing statements changed the way the public understood presidential power, and he’s set to extend his track record with an even larger mouthpiece at the Times.