Tom Sherwood, WRC-TV. There’s a reason Sherwood often tells the DC mayor where to stand at press conferences: Mayors come and go; Sherwood stays.
George Stephanopoulos, ABC. Given that he’s rising steadily in the ratings on Sunday mornings, Stephanopoulos’s approach to newsgathering and analysis is clearly hitting a nerve with the public.
Lynn Sweet, Chicago Sun-Times. It would be hard to find a reporter who works harder than Sweet, a one-woman multimedia newsroom who often seems to out-produce whole teams of correspondents.
Jake Tapper, ABC. The Daily Beast labeled him the “David Gregory of the Obama administration,” which, depending on your viewpoint, is a really good thing or a really bad thing—yet the sentiment that he’s “the one” who’ll hold the Obama administration accountable is unmistakable.
Chuck Todd, NBC. Todd’s savant-like knowledge of politics—now on display in the front row of the White House briefing room—has won the surprise campaign-trail star many fans and even a few adoring Web sites.
Nina Totenberg, NPR. David Souter’s retirement is only the latest scoop for the respected Supreme Court correspondent.
Karen Tumulty, Time. Even amid an otherwise dwindling publication, Tumulty’s reporting and analysis continue to make Time’s subscription price worth it—although increasingly you can find her all over the Web, too.
Amy Walter, Hotline. Tutored under master observer Charlie Cook, Walter has come into her own as a force in political analysis.
Jacob Weisberg, Slate. From the pages of the Financial Times and Newsweek to Slate, the prolific Weisberg is a keen Washington observer.
Mike Wilbon, Washington Post. Whether you’re watching him on ESPN or reading him in the Sports section, Wilbon always offers worthwhile analysis.
Bob Woodward, Washington Post. The man whose name is synonymous with “investigative reporting” has taken some hits in recent years and may not have the reach he once did, but he still manages to get inside where people want to go.
Jeff Zeleny, New York Times. No other reporter has the time or history with Barack Obama that Zeleny—a veteran of the Chicago Tribune—does, and it shows in his reporting.>>Next: Movers and Shakers Behind the Scenes