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History of Congressional Quarterly

Congressional Quarterly – Nelson Poynter

Poynter was born into a newspaper family. At nine years of age, Nelson’s father purchased the St. Petersburg Times and moved the family to Florida. Years later, after earning undergraduate and graduate degrees in economics from Indiana University and Yale University, Poynter pursued a career in journalism. “There never was any question what my career would be. Journalism was in my blood from childhood.”

Together with his wife Henrietta, Poynter founded Congressional Quarterly in 1945 upon the premise that Americans should readily understand the real-life implications of their government. Poynter planned to achieve his goal by providing local newspapers around the country with in-depth information about congressional activity, which in turn could be used by newspapers to inform their reporting and educate their readers. He summed up the reasons for founding CQ, saying “The federal government will never set up an adequate agency to check on itself, and a foundation is too timid for that. So it had to be a private enterprise beholden to its clients.”

CQ Today

Today CQ provides authoritative, nonpartisan and accurate congressional news and legislative tracking tools to its subscribers. Often called the “publication of record” on Congress, CQ offers more than 40 print and online products that keep readers updated on a weekly, daily and real-time basis.

Home to CQ’s suite of online subscription-based products, is the only service that covers every legislative action in Congress with breaking news, bill tracking, member profiles and much more. CQ Weekly offers insight on the people and institutions that influence public policy and legislation. It helps readers understand how legislation is shaped, who is shaping it and how the process could affect their interests. News and Schedules on provides timely, comprehensive coverage of legislative activity, including intelligence from the House and Senate floors, committee markups and congressional hearings.

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