Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Young Staffers Who Track the News

The New York Times reports on DC staffers who track the news. One of them is Brandi Hoffine `06.

Bobby Maldonado has his morning routine down to a science. Efficiency and punctuality are key.

With the help of three alarm clocks, he gets up at 4 a.m., is showered and out the door in less than an hour, and scans his BlackBerry almost constantly as he makes his pretimed 12- to 13-minute trek to the Red Line Metro stop where he catches the first train downtown.

He knows exactly where to stand so he can get into the car that deposits him just steps from the escalator at the Farragut North station. “It’s an efficiency thing,” he explained, “so I don’t get stuck behind people, so I hit the crosswalk at the right minute.”

Cutting diagonally across Farragut Square, he arrives at his office at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on H Street just after 5:30 a.m. There, in a darkened cubicle, he scans the Internet for the day’s news and condenses it into a two-page memo that he shoots off to Thomas J. Donohue, the Chamber’s president, and other top executives before 8 a.m. He is never late.

Mr. Maldonado, 26, is one of the dozens of young aides throughout the city who rise before dawn to pore over the news to synthesize it, summarize it and spin it, so their bosses start the day well-prepared. Washington is a city that traffics in information, and as these 20-something staff members are learning, who knows what — and when they know it — can be the difference between professional advancement and barely scraping by.


A Democratic National Committee spokeswoman, Brandi Hoffine, rises between 5 and 6 a.m. for what she affectionately calls “Breakfast with Brandi”— the time she begins sending out news articles she sees as favorable to the committee’s agenda to her e-mail list of 500 or so reporters.

“We all work in environments where a 24-hour news cycle can very quickly become a 24-minute news cycle,” Ms. Hoffine said. “Being in a reporter’s in-box first, even by a few minutes, can make a big difference.”

1 comment:

  1. This just occurred to me: Why does he need to go all the way to the Chamber of Commerce to scan the internet and send emails? Seems inefficient for a guy seemingly obsessed with efficiency.