Committee News is a specialist online media company that provides members of Congress, campaign staff, campaign volunteers, and others with timely information regarding upcoming events. They also regularly publish an annual list of proposed legislation, as well as links to individual congressional hearings, key-wording and action sheets, and the ever-popular hearings news release. However, most of Committee News’ strength lies in its community forum. This forum allows participants to interact not just with other registered forum members but with prominent Washington DC insiders, policy experts, congressional staffers, event planners, and anyone else who may have insights or new information to share. Because Committee News takes the time to seek out and publish only the most relevant stories, it’s a virtual treasure trove of information for those who need it most.
Unlike many sites, however, Committee News features regular posting of links to articles that have been submitted by individuals who are either committee members themselves or have influence within the committee. Often, these articles are topical, with a special emphasis on members’ committees of interest. Some are from industry professionals with an eye on Capitol Hill leadership. Others are from government experts with a specific area of expertise that the public needs more information on. Regardless of the specialization, the articles are well-written, sourced, and interesting.
In addition to posting newsworthy items, the site offers a number of podcasts and videos. These can be played in the “ews” or listened to in the “listen to hear” option on the forum. Both are useful sources of information for the everyday consumer, keeping members of Congress and the general public informed of important legislation and other topical issues. Additionally, listening to Committee News allows supporters and other citizens to support their elected officials in their efforts without spending precious time at a newsstand. Simply making a call to a toll-free number gives them an outlet to discuss local issues and voice their opinion.
As with any good information site, Committee News features a free member directory as well. This allows members to search by state, city, district, or specialty. Although not often updated, it is an excellent source for locating members of committees that are relevant to one’s area of expertise.
The site often features periodic newsletters, one of which is posted on the day of each General Convention. These are available in PDF format, which can be viewed using any word processing program. While they are often no more than basic biographical information about committee members, they are often noteworthy and provide information about upcoming events, such as conventions, workshops, seminars, or town hall meetings. One can often find information about special interest groups. If an area has not been represented at a meeting of a specialty group, it may still be of interest to members who are not members-only. These newsletters are often short, but offer great tips and suggestions that might not be available otherwise.
A frequently updated feature of the site is its calendar. The calendar lists upcoming meetings, workshops, conventions, seminars, town hall meetings, conferences, and other events. Calendar information is often displayed alphabetically by city or state, so finding the meeting that would benefit your organization is made easy. Because it is not yet a members-only site, it does not yet have a search function. However, hundreds of members are often able to be added either through an existing membership, creating their own account, or signing up as a new member.