The New York Times this week covered an exciting new launch product from one of SAGE’s sister companies, CQ Press. Here is an overview of what was reported by JEREMY W. PETERS
The race to build the biggest, most comprehensive and specialized cache of at-your-fingertips information and analysis on the business of Washington has added one more combatant.
CQ Press is creating a service called First Street, which will serve as a Congressional staff directory, legislative almanac and lobbyist locator all in one. It is scheduled to be fully up and running by April.
It will join Bloomberg and Politico in developing a new, highly specialized news service that subscribers will be asked to pay thousands of dollars a year to use. Subscriptions to First Street will start at $3,750 for most users. Bloomberg Government, which offers a similar database of information on legislation and a who’s who in Washington, costs $5,700 but also offers policy research and analysis. Politico Pro, which will provide in-depth coverage of Washington’s myriad federal agencies and trade associations, will start charging subscribers $1,495 to $2,500 a year for its most basic level of access.
What First Street aims to offer is a digitized version of the widely used CQ directories, which cull listings from lobbyist registrations and Congressional and federal staff directories, and combine that with information about legislation, election returns and campaign finance.
It is a bit like a Facebook for lobbyists, allowing someone to peer into people’s histories and professional connections.
In theory, First Street can provide a lobbyist or Capitol Hill staff member’s entire work history, which can enable businesses and other lobbyists to find the people in Washington who are best connected to serve their particular needs. All this data is searchable and paired with information about bills and laws, meaning that someone can click on a particular piece of legislation and find out everyone who has lobbied for it and how to contact them.
“Information is currency in this town,” said John A. Jenkins, president and publisher of CQ Press. “First Street provides policy makers with a million dollars’ worth in one easy click.”