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GSA's stop-the-presses moment

Well, that was a whirlwind of a Monday afternoon.

The news that Martha Johnson had resigned her post as General Services Administration administrator broke around 3:40 Monday afternoon. By that time of day, we're usually taking stock of our stories and beginning to plan out the lineup for the next day's e-mail newsletter.

But the GSA turmoil changed all that. In the days when the news media consisted of daily newspapers and broadcast, it would have been a "stop the presses!" moment. Nobody doubted that we needed to chase the story and try to nail down some information useful to our unique group of readers.

In a case of very bad timing, our GSA reporter Matthew Weigelt is on vacation this week. Instead, we put Camille Tuutti and Alice Lipowicz on the story, and I, your humble news editor, took part as well. Over the next two hours we talked to Bob Woods and Jonathan Aronie, found Johnson's resignation letter and studied the Inspector General report for details. We republished our story several times, adding detail and clarification with each iteration.

Finally, as afternoon was giving way to evening, we published the final version and called it done. Such moments can be exhilarating, and also exhausting. But these are the stories that matter most to our readers, and delivering accurate and timely information to people who want or need it is at the heart of what we do.

Posted by Michael Hardy on Apr 03, 2012 at 12:18 PM

FCW in Print

In the latest issue: Looking back on three decades of big stories in federal IT.


  • Anne Rung -- Commerce Department Photo

    Exit interview with Anne Rung

    The government's departing top acquisition official said she leaves behind a solid foundation on which to build more effective and efficient federal IT.

  • Charles Phalen

    Administration appoints first head of NBIB

    The National Background Investigations Bureau announced the appointment of its first director as the agency prepares to take over processing government background checks.

  • Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.)

    Senator: Rigid hiring process pushes millennials from federal work

    Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said agencies are missing out on younger workers because of the government's rigidity, particularly its protracted hiring process.

  • FCW @ 30 GPS

    FCW @ 30

    Since 1987, FCW has covered it all -- the major contracts, the disruptive technologies, the picayune scandals and the many, many people who make federal IT function. Here's a look back at six of the most significant stories.

  • Shutterstock image.

    A 'minibus' appropriations package could be in the cards

    A short-term funding bill is expected by Sept. 30 to keep the federal government operating through early December, but after that the options get more complicated.

  • Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco

    DOD launches new tech hub in Austin

    The DOD is opening a new Defense Innovation Unit Experimental office in Austin, Texas, while Congress debates legislation that could defund DIUx.

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