At the helm of the 140-plus journalists in the Bloomberg News Washington, D.C. bureau is Craig Gordon. He ensures that Bloomberg reports on the news coming out of America’s political power center with the accuracy, context, and speed our financial and business clients need.
In this Q&A, Craig shares what he thinks about Bloomberg’s position in today’s fast-paced news environment, why we cover news differently and how we partner with Bloomberg colleagues outside the news bureau.
What is your strategy for covering Washington, D.C.?
I have been at Bloomberg for four years and have always been in charge of different parts of our news coverage. I lead everything we report on in the D.C. area including Trump, Congress, national reform, healthcare, and more.
We need to cover anything that is important to Bloomberg readers. Obviously we cover Trump, but we need to keep the market angle of our stories in mind and how investors would react to the news. More importantly, how our coverage can potentially influence the markets.
Our regulation teams, who cover agencies and policies, are really what set Bloomberg apart from other bureaus in Washington. We are very mindful about our customers. Our news coverage affects how they do their jobs and how they make informed business decisions.
We also have incredible reporters covering energy, auto, the Federal Communications Commission, the Federal Aviation Administration, and more. We put the most emphasis on the facts with our coverage compared to other outlets.
For example, a local ambassador in Ankara, Turkey is shutting down the visa program. Our angle on that story explained the impact on the Turkish lira and why it suddenly tanked. We tell our readers that we know what they care about. We need to have that financial element and so we have big teams that cover these topics at granular levels.
Has Trump and the era of ‘fake news’ affected Bloomberg’s work?
I don’t think it has changed that much. While a lot of news outlets have had to change their tone, we haven’t.
I think the facts are already out. Our readers are smart enough to know that if you put the facts and figures out, they will know when Trump is straying from the truth.
We don’t need to go out of our way to point this out. We trust our readers because they are sophisticated. It is all about the facts, and we have some of the best reporters that provide these facts. We are often able to find out what is going on behind Trump’s tweet or what’s happening within the White House.
By working with people we trust, we can present a full picture. We’ve taken Trump seriously since day one, regardless of how unorthodox the situation was. I feel like we have served our readers quite well since he has taken office.
What do you like about the D.C. bureau?
We are in the middle of the one of the biggest stories in the world, reporting on the Trump administration, and everyone wants to be a part of it. To be here running our coverage right now is a privilege. I have some of the best reporters in D.C.
We are coming to Washington, D.C. very well positioned with great talent. Our journalists are viewed as leaders.
Which stories are you most proud of?
The day that Steve Bannon was fired from the National Security Council (NSC). Bannon’s power was at its height then and he was highly unusual to be added to the NSC. We were the first to report he was fired. It received one million hits and we were the ones who broke it. It was a great day.
Another story that I’m proud of is when we reported that Jeff Sessions was going to be Trump’s Attorney General. There’s nobody who broke more of those names during the transition than us.
One of my other favorite stories this year came when Chinese investors tried to buy the Westinghouse Electric Company. We were the first to report that the deal was going to happen and that the White House got involved in a weird way. The investors were going to put nuclear reactor designs into the Chinese government’s hands.
The story is not exactly a crowd-pleaser, but we spoke to the White House, Treasury, business, and all the parts we cover. It raised an issue and showed how Trump was worried about the Chinese influencing U.S. companies. We learned that Trump can take extraordinary steps to shape the deal.
How do the other parts of Bloomberg work with the Bloomberg News team?
I invite and encourage Bloomberg colleagues to reach out anytime. I am prepared to have a conversation with different parts of the business. They are experts in their industry and as news professionals, we need tips from others who have news in their subject area. News tips are the lifeblood of any newsroom.
Lastly, if someone thinks a story missed a point, I am open to discussing it to ensure we get the story right. I am happy to hear about other things that are happening to help shape our coverage.
Final words of wisdom?
I tell people that while we might have our own feelings and opinions about the president, but when you are in this role, you are just covering the news. Donald Trump is the president and is super influential, so we owe it to him and the world to cover our stories right down the middle, reporting on the facts without bias. We try to be as fair as possible. I am extremely proud of our coverage.
Follow Craig on Twitter @dcraiggordon
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