A Brief Blog Profile: Up Front
by Thomas Hynes
Up Front is the blog-facing publication of Washington, DC's Brookings Institution. Here readers can find briefs on complex papers, op-eds, and even musings on current affairs, foreign policy and domestic issues. The Up Front blog aim is to highlight the latest opinion and analysis from Brookings experts. However, this isn't simply a series of lectures or academic papers. Rather the site acts as a two-way conversational forum for readers to engage with scholars and experts on the day's issues.
As you might expect, the site dealt with the debt ceiling issue over the summer. There was a great analysis, yes. But there was also an interactive webchat. And it's not all debt ceiling. Up Front is not just an echo chamber of what people are talking about this very minute. The site transitions between a report on green jobs and their impact on the economy to an update on the status of US-Africa relations. To me it's as though Up Front will tackle the day's top issues, but they'll also gently nudge us towards important issues that may have been lost to the glow of flashy headlines.
Up Front really gains its merit and reputation through its connection with Brookings Institution. As his honor NYC mayor Mike Bloomberg said of them, "Brookings has achieved a special measure of respect in Washington because it has risen above partisanship." And if you don't want to take my (or Bloomberg's) word on Brookings or Up Front, consider that they're ranked the #1 think tank, not only in the country, but in the world. I'd say that's probably not a bad place to get your news.