Introducing The Upshot

Andrew Golis
July 6, 2010

Welcome! Thanks for stopping by.

So what the heck is The Upshot? Eight people, six reporters and two editors, working each day to tell you what's happening in the world with short bursts of reporting and analysis.

Our goal is to be blunt narrators of the day's news, to cut through the noise and misinformation and get to the heart of what's important and why. We'll be fast, getting information to you as a story breaks and then sticking with it until the end. In the best tradition of blogging, we'll often tell you about the great work done by our competitors and recommend you go read it with a link. But we'll also tell you when — and why — we think a report is off-base or the conventional wisdom is wrong.

We'll also break news. Our reporters aren't just blogging about what other people are reporting; they're talking to sources and digging through documents, working to understand each story for themselves. Expect them to come up with things you won't find anywhere else, every day.

Let me also say that our responsibility is to you — not to our sources, not to people with power, not to other people in the media. We understand that you will read us and we'll  be able to pay our bills only if we earn your trust. We'll be nonpartisan and hold everyone to the same, high standard. And we'll also avoid the lazy reporting practice of just getting quotes from opposing sides and hoping that gets you closer to understanding the truth.

Through all of this, we will also try to be interesting and, when the story merits it, have some fun.

Of course, we're human, so at some point we'll probably screw up. We'll work tirelessly to have this happen as rarely as possible, but when it does: Keep us honest. Email us, comment on our posts, let us know when we've made a mistake. When we agree with you, we'll be fast and transparent about fixing it, apologizing and explaining.

With that, let me introduce you to The Upshot team:

Chris Lehmann, Deputy Editor

Chris is the guy who holds the whole thing together, polishing our reporters' writing and making sure they back up every claim. He'll also sometimes write for the site, taking on the tough task of explaining big issues like who in the world has nuclear bombs or how the budget reconciliation process works in Congress.

Holly Bailey, Senior Political Reporter

Holly will give us the big picture of what's happening in American politics. She'll track things like how the Obama administration handles the fallout from the oil spill and what big elections mean for our collective political future. And when rumors surface that the president was once an extra in a music video, she'll be on the case.

John Cook, Senior National Affairs Reporter

John is our lead investigative reporter, and he's always digging. In the past few weeks alone, he not only discovered that the judge who overturned the recent moratorium on oil drilling held extensive stock in oil companies; he also shook loose the connection between one alleged Russian spy and a Harvard graduate school.

Michael Calderone, Media Reporter

In an age of chaos and fragmentation in the news industry, every story is a media story. Michael will be watching it all, explaining everything from the way major newspapers shift their policies to reflect heated political debates to how a rabbi and his son can end the career of a journalistic icon to how the White House tries to change public opinion by hosting journalists for off-the-record lunches.

Brett Michael Dykes, National Affairs Reporter

Brett has an eye for amazing stories. Read about the dog that became an icon of Greek rebellion? Or when Marvel Comics had to apologize to tea partyers? Brett isn't just a chronicler of news of the weird, though. A native Louisianan, he'll be following the continuing story of the Gulf oil spill and its aftermath.

Liz Goodwin, National Affairs Reporter

Liz goes beyond the slogans to look at how policies affect the quality of life in American communities. Why did Arizona pass a new immigration law if police say violence isn't rising? Why does slavery persist both in the United States and abroad? Are reforms really making our schools better?  Liz will look for answers.

Rachel Rose Hartman, Political Reporter

Rachel will chronicle the political stories you might have missed — and explain why you will be glad you didn't. Among her recent explorations: the tea party candidate from Utah almost certainly headed for the Senate, the deal Democrats cut with the NRA to pass a campaign finance bill, the Ohio Senate race you weren't following but is quickly becoming a battleground classic.