Here’s a positive development: The National Journal is putting more focus on the role lobbying and advocacy with its newly launched (and completely accessible) Under the Influence blog. (It looks like if they link to their own articles that you will need a subscription to read them.) In their press release announcing the launch they say that the blog’s mission is to help readers understand how the lobby industry actually works, as well as to cover the people who work to influence the laws and regulations that determine America’s future. Under the Influence will focus on fund raising, association mergers, who’s in and who’s out at Washington lobbying offices, and a discussion on whether an Obama administration would adopt the campaign’s professed disregard for the lobbying community, according to the release.
“Anyone who follows Washington wants to be first to know how a huge and powerful network of actors gets things done in the $3 billion-plus influence industry,” said Bob Gettlin, the blog’s editor. “Advocates, lobbyists, and policy experts serve a critical function in our democracy, educating elected officials on complicated issues. Yet, the world of lobbying is poorly understood and heavily stereotyped.”