Josh Boak was out front and alone with news that President Joe Biden would boost deficit reduction in his long-awaited budget proposal by an extra $1 trillion, as all other major news organizations were reporting a much lower figure.
None of the stories published that day by the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times or CNN were particularly newsy, given that Biden had pledged in his State of the Union address a month earlier that his budget would include $2 trillion in deficit reduction. But when Boak’s reporting was confirmed by White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre at her daily briefing, news organizations all over Washington were forced to scramble to retool their stories.
In addition to his persistent reporting over a few months, Boak said the budget proposal scoop also was a byproduct of one of his best questions in off-the-record conversations with sources: "What are the most important work items on your calendar?"
His work earned him a retweet from the president, as well as a note in Politico’s afternoon Playbook. It also was the day’s most-used text story for customers and on AP platforms.