The 5 Must Read Sites For Federal Political Coverage – Continuing a theme begun by my colleagues Matt Salvatore with his piece on the ‘Top 5 political blogs’ and Michael Von Herff’s piece ‘The 10 best tweeters for those following Ottawa’, I’d like to discuss those web sites and blogs that are essential reads for those tracking issues, events and gossip in federal politics. With election fever increasing in Ottawa over the dog days of summer, good information is essential in knowing what issues are generating coverage.
The sites listed below are essential reads for me every day and can be valuable tools for anyone tracking federal political coverage.
- National Newswatch – National Newswatch is the absolute ‘must read’ site for political players in Ottawa. This news aggregator site lists the top stories making news on a daily basis while also linking to the primary columnists with each of the major news organizations to provide a good picture of the news terrain. As an issue heats up over the course of a day, National Newswatch will almost always be the first site with links to the relevant news stories – providing varied voices on the event so the reader can see the different points of view providing coverage.
- Pundits Guide to Canadian Federal Elections– Pundits Guide provides some of the best analysis and information on election readiness and election results for each of the federal parties. Not only does the site cover nominated candidates but it also provides analysis on the financial health of each of the federal parties as they report their quarterly and annual fundraising numbers. Pundits Guide understands the nuances of Election Canada rules better than almost anyone on the web and has become a must visit site for anyone hoping to track election readiness.
- Inkless Wells – Paul Wells has been one of the best political reads in Ottawa for over a decade – even while he was transferred to cover events in Europe for a short time. While his weekly column for MacLean’s continues to be the reason why many of us read MacLean’s, his blog musings on ‘Inkless Wells’ provide intelligent, well researched looks at the issues of the day. He is unafraid to call politicians out when they are underperforming – witness his reporting on Stéphane Dion’s leadership – or report on less covered national pieces with zeal – like his coverage of the ‘Rights and Democracy’ standoff. Part of what makes Paul Wells a must read is he understands all aspects of politics – both in terms of strategy to policy development – and this makes his insight especially pertinent to political audiences.
- David Akin – David Akin, now with Sun Media, has been one of the best examples of a journalist using social media to both find stories and promote stories he is covering. Like Wells, Akin is more than willing to delve into research and data to prove or disprove an argument being made by a federal politician. He is not afraid to ask the tough question at a news conference or call a politician to task when they aren’t well prepared on a specific issue.
- Public Eye Online – while BC based Public Eye Online does not look at national stories in the same way Ottawa based journalists do on issues, it is able to provide excellent coverage and analysis of both federal and provincial politics in BC. Like Pundits Guide, Public Eye Online provides strong analysis on election readiness at both the riding and regional levels. I began reading the website during a leadership campaign for its unique insight and analysis it provided of the campaign in BC but have continued reading it because it provides analysis of BC issues in a way that is hard to find anywhere else.
To me, my day would not be complete without paying a visit to each of these websites or blogs on a daily basis. Their combined strength keeps me on top of federal political issues so that I have the information I need to provide my own analysis to our clients.