What’s the Hot Take on Capitol Hill? All You Have to Do is Ask

Ever wonder what it’s like to be a reporter on Capitol Hill? It can be a rough and tumble place, says 100 Days in Appalachia’s D.C. correspondent Jan Pytalski.

“It’s highly competitive and hugely dependent on who you know,” Pytalski says. “The climate can be hostile and it takes a lot of perseverance.”

But perseverance is something Pytalski has a lot of.

Every day in Washington, he’s tracking the biggest political stories– and top political players– and reporting on how those people and policies impact the region. But just what are those top issues? And who are those players? Well, ask him yourself.

Pytalski and 100 Days in Appalachia are the newest addition to a national experiment in engaged journalism. Called Project Text, it’s creator David Cohn and participating news outlets are attempting to cut through the clutter of social media and communicate directly with you via text.

The premise is simple: you, the reader, sign up for the service by sharing and then verifying your mobile number, and then, right away, you receive regular updates from a journalist on their reporting. But you can also flip the script and ask him or her questions yourself– questions you think need answered by a journalist.

At 100 Days in Appalachia, Pytalski will serve in that role, keeping you up to date on the latest political news from Washington and across the region leading up to the 2018 midterms.

“This allows me to bypass the noise of social media and the hundreds of other news sources out there and communicate directly with the people who need to hear from us the most: the people of Appalachia,” Pytalski says.

Cohn, senior director at Advance Digital’s Alpha Group, first tested the program in June of this year during San Francisco’s mayoral election. A reporter from the San Francisco Public Press used it to communicate directly with local political buffs. And when one of the candidates in that race let the press know he planned to concede, the Project Text participants were among the first in the city to know when the reporter texted them with the news.

“The more community members are able to engage directly with policies and politicians, the more direct impact they–and we– can have on those policies,” 100 Days in Appalachia’s Executive Editor Dana Coester says.

“By participating in this project, we are hoping to give the people of the region access to both the metaphorical and literal seat of power in this country through Pytalski and his reporting. He’s on Capitol Hill not just to cover the beat, but to make sure Appalachians have a voice there, and Project Text can only amplify those voices even further,” Coester added.

So, are you interested?

Sign up by sharing your contact information with us here. And then shoot Pytalski a text. He’s waiting to hear from you.

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