Derek Wallbank runs Bloomberg’s First Word breaking news desk in Washington, DC, the top media source for breaking news on everything coming out of the White House, Congress, and the rest of the US federal government. A policy-focused news source in Washington since 2008, Wallbank’s desk regularly moves world markets and currencies with its scoops and breaking news.
“The goal now as always is to examine the inner workings of Washington and lay them out in the open, in plain English, so people know not only what’s happening, but why,” Wallbank said about his work as a journalist.
Wallbank is chairman of the Board of Governors at the National Press Club, the nation’s foremost professional association of journalists. He is also a member of the board of the National Press Club Journalism Institute, the Club’s charitable wing that provides training for journalists and promotes press freedom around the world. Wallbank is a regular commenter on US political news for national and global outlets, and has appeared on MSNBC, NPR, C-SPAN, and Bloomberg TV. His work has been published in the New York Times, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Miami Herald, Detroit Free Press, and Chicago Tribune.
Wallbank attended the Duke TIP Summer Studies Program three times—once at Appalachian State and twice at Kansas—before attending Michigan State University, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and political science. He was also named Michigan State’s 2015 Rising Star for its College of Communication Arts and Sciences.
Asked about his proudest moment as a journalist, Wallbank pointed to a northern Minnesota school that was rebuilt after he and other news outlets brought attention to its appalling condition and neglect. “If the life or future of an eight-year-old is better, in any small part, because I did my job, then it’s a good day,” Wallbank said.