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50 Top Journalists 2009
Comments () | Published June 1, 2009
Steve Coll, a New Yorker writer and book author, is an expert on the Middle East. Photograph by Matthew Worden.

Good at Explaining What the News Means

Understanding what’s actually happening—or what’s really at stake—is sometimes hard. Here are a dozen of the people we look to for guidance:

David Brooks, New York Times. Brooks’s wide-ranging column topics underscore his broad interests as an earnest observer of modern life.

Steve Coll, New Yorker. His writings, whether in the magazine or in books, help explain the complex ideas and people who shape our world.

Charlie Cook, Cook Political Report. There are political junkies, and then there’s Charlie Cook—the man who knows more about everything political than anyone else.

Dahlia Lithwick, Slate. The Supreme Court, and its legal cases in general, can seem opaque until Lithwick makes it all easier to understand.

Ruth Marcus, Washington Post. Not many writers brag that they “specialize” in the federal budget, but then most writers aren’t the studious Ruth Marcus.

Steven Pearlstein, Washington Post. A longtime watcher of the financial world, Pearlstein has been a critical guide to the events of the last year.

Robert Samuelson, Newsweek. When it comes to finance and monetary policy, Samuelson knows his stuff.

Roger Simon, Politico. Past is prologue, the saying goes, and it has proved true in the anecdotes of political history that Simon brings to life.

Stuart Taylor Jr., National Journal. A brilliant legal writer, Taylor is tenacious in searching out the truth, as he did in the Duke rape case, helping to vindicate the accused students.

Evan Thomas, Newsweek. When the magazine needs someone to make sense of the world’s big events, it often turns to journalist and historian Thomas.

George Will, Washington Post. An expert on games from baseball to politics, Will is one of the best-read people in a smart city.

Adrian Wooldridge, Economist. Readers of the British magazine’s Lexington column know they can trust the viewpoint of Washington correspondent Wooldridge.

>> Next: TV and Radio Anchors We Trust


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  • Anthony Mallgren

    What about James Swanwick?

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Posted at 12:00 AM/ET, 06/01/2009 RSS | Print | Permalink | Comments () | Articles