The Franklin Center Names John Bicknell Executive Editor of Watchdog.Org

Monday, September 21st, 2015

“His experience and knowledge of the media industry will be a valuable resource as we continue to expand our coverage in critical states and on key policy matters.”

ALEXANDRIA, VA – Veteran editor and journalist John Bicknell will join The Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity as Executive Editor of the Center’s Watchdog.org publication. Under the leadership of Vice President of Journalism Will Swaim, Bicknell will work closely with Watchdog’s extensive network of investigative journalists and develop relationships with other media outlets.

Bicknell has been a journalist for more than 30 years. He came to Washington in 1999 as an editor at Congressional Quarterly, where he led the production team for CQ Today and was a team editor for the publication. When CQ merged with Roll Call, he continued as national security editor, co-editor of the 2012 edition of “Politics in America” and eventually became editor of the opinion pages.

He went on to write a book on the presidential campaign of 1844 and became executive editor of FCW, a magazine and online publication covering the business of federal computing. He co-edited the 2016 edition of “The Almanac of American Politics,” and is an accomplished book reviewer.

“We are thrilled to have John as part of our team. His experience and knowledge of the media industry will be a valuable resource as we continue to expand our coverage in critical states and on key policy matters,” said Franklin Center President Erik Telford. “With over 30 years of experience in this industry, John knows the news, what’s important to readers and where to go to find the facts.”

Bicknell’s hiring is a continuation of The Franklin Center’s plan to expand beyond its 16 state bureaus, while growing staff in 5 key states: Colorado, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wisconsin. These are states where Watchdog has already broken important stories on the Gold King Mine disaster and the John Doe investigation into Scott Walker. Along with growing its personnel, Watchdog.org has expanded its coverage to focus on key policy issues including education, energy, technology and regulation.

In addition to hiring Bicknell, Franklin Center has been dedicated to an evolution of growth of the journalism team with the recent addition of Kevin Glass, previously with Townhall.com, as Franklin Center’s Director of Policy and Outreach. In Texas, after spending over a decade with the Austin American-Statesman and 14 years with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Mark Lisheron’s leadership in the Texas bureau has led the Watchdog investigative team to expose corrupt admissions practices at the University of Texas.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to work with the journalists at Watchdog.org,” said Bicknell. “Many good stories get lost in today’s 24-hour news cycle, and real investigative journalism has fallen by the wayside in many places. I look forward to working with this talented, growing group of journalists to uncover the stories that make a difference at the local, state and national levels.”

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