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The Washington Post Company Announces WhoRunsGov.com Beta Launch

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New Web Site Offers In-Depth Profiles of Top Washington Officials, Policy Makers Envisions Wiki-Style Source for Policy Views, Political Biographies of Key Players

WASHINGTON, Jan 22, 2009 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- The Washington Post Company (NYSE:WPO) announced today the beta launch of WhoRunsGov.com, a Web site offering a unique look at the world of Washington through its key players and personalities. The site features concise profiles of influential political officials who shape government policy, including members of the new presidential administration, Pentagon officials, lawmakers, senior congressional aides and committee staff. In later phases, the site will be expanded to include state officials and experts at think tanks and interest groups.

The first several hundred profiles are being crafted by a newly created editorial team at the Washington Post Company, as well as a group of experienced outside contributors. The site will also feature a daily news blog called The Plum Line focusing on the personal role of Washington's most powerful players in the policy-making process.

Each profile provides in-depth information on an official's policy experience, involvement in government decision-making, major policy positions, key associates, political affiliations, voting records, campaign and personal finance information, plus relevant news articles from around the Web. The goal is to provide policy biographies of all major government decision-makers across the Executive and Legislative branches and independent agencies. Each profile will highlight an official's top policy concerns, from health care to financial services to national security. Representative profiles include Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) by Robert Draper, First Lady Michelle Obama by Sarah Wildman, the Rev. Rick Warren by David Brody and Treasury Secretary-designate Timothy Geithner by Neil Irwin and Ryan Derousseau.

"This is the first phase of a new venture to create a uniquely collaborative and rich information resource that demystifies the individuals behind Washington's policy-making process," said Rachel Van Dongen, Editor of WhoRunsGov.com. "The site gives political, business and opinion leaders, as well as students, educators and engaged citizens, a destination for crucial, real-time information on Washington's key players. And it will be a free resource for all."

Greg Sargent is the lead author of The Plum Line, which will provide breaking news on political appointments and people driving government decision-making, from members in the new Obama administration to their counterparts on Capitol Hill and K Street.

WhoRunsGov.com is powered by MindTouch, creators of Deki, an open source enterprise collaboration and community platform that enables users to connect and remix enterprise systems, social tools and Web services. This initial beta version of the site allows users to discuss officials' policy profiles. A range of additional interactive and collaborative capabilities will be added when the site expands to become a moderated wiki later this year.

At this later date, users will be invited to submit suggested additions and revisions to the text of specific profiles based on reputable published sources or authoritative information.

To ensure accuracy and reliability of the site's information, the editorial team will review each submission before it is published. Politicians profiled on the site will have the opportunity to provide biographical details and tell their stories in their own words. Users will also be able to expand the site's universe of profiles by submitting new biographical entries.

This moderated collaboration involving policy professionals, a dedicated editorial staff, and public contributors will create an unprecedented and dynamic Internet resource for anyone wanting to get to know the people who drive policy outcomes in the nation's capital.

To visit and register on WhoRunsGov.com see the following link:
http://www.whorunsgov.com

The blog can be viewed at:
http://whorunsgov.com/theplumline

SOURCE: The Washington Post Company

The Washington Post Company
Press Contact:
Rima Calderon, 202-334-6617
calderonr@washpost.com