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NYT Takes Another Look At The Politico

>UPDATE: Yes, Kurtz did address the Politico briefly (and not as a top item) in a Nov. 27 piece. However, we’re still left wondering: If Kurtz can justify a top billing for a few moves at Time magazine, why does the D.C. political earthquake caused by The Politico get second billing?

Hmm…this is now two articles on The Politico by the New York Times (first here) and zero for the Washington Post. Have Kurtz / Howell / etc. been given a “don’t touch that” order on Politico coverage? Go ahead and ask during Howie’s noontime chat at washingtonpost.com

The highlights from today’s piece by Katharine Q. Seelye:

  • “‘It seems riskier to stay in print than to go to something new,’ said Ben Smith, 30, a reporter for The Daily News in New York, who will be writing a blog for The Politico about the 2008 presidential campaign.

  • “But there are skeptics who say that the focus of The Politico is too narrow and that the marketplace too crowded with sources of political news, from sites like RealClearPolitics.com to scores of other publications, including newspapers and their Web sites. Partisans, especially, feast on sites that affirm their views; The Politico says it will be nonpartisan.”

  • Its publisher, Robert L. Allbritton, 37, scion of the banking and media family that once owned the defunct Washington Star, said in an interview that he would finance The Politico for ‘the foreseeable future’ and has committed to paying for expensive campaign travel. He has hired a staff of about 50 people, almost half of them journalists.”

  • “He had briefly considered buying The Hill last year, but declined; the asking price was a reported $40 million.”

  • “He predicted that The Politico would start turning a profit in less than five years, from advertising in all of its incarnations — on the Web, with its own television program and in a limited print edition, with 30,000 copies three days a week while Congress is in session and one day a week when Congress is in recess. The Politico will be free for readers, both online and in print.”

  • “One of the few models for what The Politico is trying to do might be Inside.com, a media-oriented Web site that tried to branch into print and conferences. It started in 2000 with venture capital backing and it, too, attracted well-known journalists eager for the promise of riches and fame from the Web. Alas, it vanished almost two years later after the dot-com bust.”

  • Michael Kinsley, the founding editor of Slate.com, said it was a positive sign that mainstream journalists were signing up to work for The Politico. When Slate.com started in 1996, he said, ‘you couldn’t get anyone from the establishment.”

    But he questioned whether The Politico could carve out a niche for itself in a world glutted with political news. ‘I’m thinking, ‘God, I can’t keep up with it all,” he said. ‘But, then again, I would have thought there was no more room for another Starbucks in Dupont Circle, and there always is.’”

John Harris talks about “passing the bong” with Jim VandeHei here. Local blogger

Elaine Meyer also has some thoughts on The Politico:

    Such journalism embodies the problem with this town in general, which is that some folks get so into the idea that they are mixing with the Illuminati, the “powerful” people, that they report on the goings on as if they were in a cafeteria surveying the social dynamics between cliques. Little do any of them realize that such a paltry minority of people know or care who most of Washington is. I enjoy a clever dig at politicians or a little Washington gossip every once in awhile, but I turn to the totally unserious Wonkette for this, not a legitimate paper, and there is a glut of entities that fulfill this need already. If I’m wrong about The Politico, and it is a serious, useful periodical, I’ll be the first to admit it. If I am right, I look ever forward to reading another article about whether the nation can elect a Mormon for president or whether Giuliani can win over social conservatives.

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