The Washington Post

Popular Whipple Report to continue, though author retiring

Virginia Senate spouse and retired CIA analyst Tom Whipple announced Thursday that he is retiring his popular pre-dawn news clip service and handing it over to the Virginia Public Access Project, a nonpartisan group devoted to shedding light on the political process in Virginia.

Whipple’s last day compiling clips will be June 12 — VPAP will assume his subscriber list and begin offering a similar service June 13, Executive Director David Poole said in a statement.

Over the 15 years that Whipple has risen each morning at 4 a.m. to compile and e-mail a compendium of newspaper stories on government published around the state, his subscriber list has grown from a small cadre of Democratic colleagues of his wife, state Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple (D-Arlington) to a lengthy list of more than 2,000 journalists, lobbyists, academics and others.

The daily report of media coverage has been shrunk as news outlets have reduced their presence in the state capital — but also expanded as Whipple strived to include items posted on media blogs, including this one.

Sen. Whipple announced earlier this year that she would retire from the state Senate at the end of the year, and Tom Whipple had said at the time that he would also be concluding his volunteer clip service.

In a statement, Whipple said he was pleased VPAP will now take it over.

“I’m confident that they will do an excellent job of continuing and even improving the service,” he said.

Poole said the daily report will be called the VPAP Whipple Report in Tom’s honor.

“Tom’s selfless dedication is the stuff of legend,” said David Poole, VPAP’s executive director. “We open his e-mails with a sense of wonder — ‘How can there be this person who rises before dawn each day, scans online newspapers and sends me exactly what I need?’ ”

“We’ll do our best to be good stewards of his legacy,” he said.

Those interested in registering to receive the free clips from VPAP can do so here.

Rosalind Helderman is a political enterprise and investigations reporter for the Washington Post.


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