Young journo Daniel Lippman is quite possibly Washington’s next Mike Allen.
For Daniel Lippman, doing anything other than what he’s doing now is unimaginable. Politico announced the full-time hire of Lippman in June as a researcher-reporter working alongside the venerable Mike Allen in the production of “Playbook,” the publication’s morning must-read newsletter. Having joined Politico in a part-time capacity in February, Lippman was well-known by top talent at the Rosslyn news outlet even then.
In 2009, Politico profiled Lippman for being recognized by Washington media as the GW student with a penchant for e-mailing reporters to flag misspelled names, grammatical errors, and broken hyperlinks in published pieces of work. “Since I read so much news, I’d notice errors and typos,” Lippman says, “I just thought, it only takes me a couple of minutes to send off a quick note, and they can fix the story so thousands of readers won’t see that inaccuracy in there.”
But his record of corresponding with some of the nation’s top political writers didn’t just begin when he moved to DC from Connecticut, where he penned articles on national politics for his high school paper, The Hotchkiss Record.
“While I was in high school,” Lippman recalls, “the Bush White House had a thing called ‘Ask the White House,’ which was a Web forum where they brought in Cabinet officials to answer public questions.” Lippman routinely participated, and doing so led The New Yorker to do a “Talk of the Town” piece on him in 2005, when he was just 15.
After graduating from GW in 2012, Lippman interned with The Wall Street Journal and The Huffington Post before traveling to Antakya, Turkey, to cover the Syrian civil war. There, he reported on the Syrian refugee crisis for CNN’s website and, for The Huffington Post, on injured Syrian civilians who crossed into Turkey.
With the 2016 presidential election fast approaching, Lippman hopes to be involved in Politico’s coverage of it, “maybe on the trail or following a particular candidate.” And he describes working for Allen—the face of Politico—and assisting him in the production and delivery of “Playbook” as “inspiring.”
“[Mike Allen] knows what Washington will talk about the next day and what people want to read. Politico encourages its reporters to write stories no one else has, to push for details, and to really understand the behind-the-scenes story,” says Lippman. “What Mike has told me is that the most important thing is your work—it’s not a clock-in or clock-out. It’s more about, ‘Are you writing interesting articles? Is ‘Playbook’ serving its readers and continuing to inform people who are reading it?’
“I keep in mind that you can’t get too close to your sources; you have to write what the truth is for the readers—they’re the most important thing. Politicians have their own PR folks, so we serve our readers.”
At just the tender age of 24, Lippman promises a media trajectory that we’re excited to follow—for the next 40 years or so.