Welcome to 3Qs -- a new feature at The 463 where we ask three questions of an interesting person in the tech policy neighborhood.
We've turned the tables on our first interviewee. As a senior writer at the National Journal's Technology Daily, Andrew Noyes (bio) is among the very best reporters covering tech policy. While maintaining clear-eyed toughness, Andrew brings an enthusiasm to his job that is rare for a breed better known for its hardened cynical types.
Andrew also is the energy behind the NJTD's Tech Daily Dose Blog. Check it out.
On to the questions:
1) What constantly amazes you as you cover tech policy in DC?
I am continually (and pleasantly) surprised by the extent to which staffers for key members of Congress and committees are steeped in the issues I cover. Intellectual property policy and Internet governance issues can be dense and require serious time and thoughtful consideration. Sometimes I find myself scrambling to keep up with them! I am also amazed by the ferocity and intensity of lobbying efforts that target high-tech and telecommunications topics -- and the creativity with which these campaigns are deployed.
2) Which politicians “get” technology the best?
I hate to name names but here are a few: Rep. Rick Boucher, D-Va., Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., Rep. Howard Berman, D-Calif., Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., Rep. Fred Upton, R- Mich., Rep. Mike Ferguson, R-N.J., Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Sen. Gordon Smith, R-Ore., Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev.
3) On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate the job that industry in currently doing to communicate its value and positions in DC? What should the tech industry be doing to better communicate about the benefits that their companies and products bring to society?
The tech sector's bullhorn is loud and unrelenting. If an hour goes by without hearing from an industry rep on a given issue, I immediately call our IT people because my e-mail is clearly on the fritz. The sector does a fantastic job of communicating its message on a variety of issues. The fact that there are more than a half-dozen groups that purportedly speak for the industry in Washington occasionally makes covering my bases difficult -- but it's always better to have a chorus of voices than none at all.