Jim Long - Digital Media and Culture

Politico’s Foray Into Local News – DC Media Game Changer?


Politico, Newschannel 8, and WJLA TV Parent company, Allbritton Communications, has announced that it is jumping into local media here in the Washington DC metro area. Planned for launch next spring, the yet unnamed site hopes to leverage social web technology to lure audiences who have become disenchanted with traditional media. They also hope replicate the success of the reportedly profitable Politico.


So is this a game changer for local media in the Washington area? The New Republic’s website, TNR.com, who originally broke the story, framed this as a direct challenge to the Washington Post. But as more local TV stations place greater emphasis on their web presence, this “local Politico” will pose a challenge to TV stations as well. So I asked Twitter the following:

HEY DC PEEPS!! what are your thoughts on Politico’s foray into the online local news space??

Predictably,  there was no shortage of opinion.  Here are just a few.


@newmediajim Considering WP’s gestapo tact on the opinion of their own journalists, is Jim Brady prepared to get out of the box? We’ll see.


RT @newmediajim: HEY DC PEEPS!! what are your thoughts on Politico’s foray into the local news space? http://is.gd/4H4We // SUPER PSYCHED!


@newmediajim I would subscribe, listen to POLITICO interviews on WTOP and they appeal to me. Like my news on the go.


@newmediajim Politico local news…they should read this…http://bit.ly/3kjwhf – and then curate/cultivate relationships with the locals


@newmediajim Means that the future is here. If they do as good a job as they did with Politico, the WaPo should be worried.


Just got this WAPO email re: redesign of their local news site. 1 day aftr Politico scare, coincidence? http://twurl.nl/k80fr7

Jim Brady At The Helm


Courtesey Michael Schwarz - Politico

Courtesey Michael Schwarz – Politico

Jim Brady, former WashingtonPost.com editor, will oversee a staff of 50 at the operation. In his presentation this past week at an Online News Association confab, entitled – Mobile: The Future is Now – Brady may have betrayed the strategy of the new site. I suspect there will be a very strong emphasis on mobile apps and geolocation, which makes sense. Mobile strategy is timely.  ComScore data indicates daily mobile news consumption has more than doubled in the past year. And if he believes what he preaches, not only will he staff the newsroom well, but he’ll bring on a strong mobile app development team. I also suspect that these mobile apps will be bi-directional, meaning users will be able to consume stories and upload their own content to the site. Another interesting data point from a Universal McCann study shows that 53% of smartphone users are clicking on mobile ads.

Catalyst For Change

So now that the story is out, it will be interesting to see how other local media respond. Competition is good, and hopefully better multimedia/online journalism should result from this. This could be a catalyst for great change for local media in the DC metro area. Will this new site embrace social tools and encourage networked journalism, crowdsourcing, hyperlocal news? While all of that “webby goodness” appeals to the web 2.0 evangelists, it’s noteworthy and encouraging to this media worker that, according to this NY Times piece, Allbritton plans on paying competitive, large market newspaper salaries for seasoned pros.

Ultimately, a site like this will live or die on how it serves the needs of the local community. So assembled readers, what is it that will make a site like this work, for the publisher and the community. Why have so many other hyperlocal, local web plays failed? What would you like to see from a local web news provider? Please discuss in the comments below!

  • http://stardustglobalventures.com sherylbreuker

    I can't speak specifically to the DC area…I'm not there! I can say that as I've traveled the interwebs and news sites, one thing that makes a difference is engagement. If a site is engaged, willing to listen, allows reader participation and in general steps up to this new media world, or as friend Jeff likes to say, NOW media, they are far more likely to be successful than an old media company just testing the waters throwing something up to appear they're in the game.

    Authenticity rules in this world we're developing. It's easy to fact check, easy to move to the next big thing. Reciprocity is a key component to standing out. Being a link dump is no longer going to serve anyone. Twitter has all the links we need. Even local links. Engage your community and the world is yours.

    • newmediajim

      It looks like they're going to make a serious effort at this Sheryl. Click on that link to Jim Brady's #ONA presentation.

      • http://stardustglobalventures.com sherylbreuker

        As an aside, and you can never repeat this, I had a TRS-80!!! LOL The presentation looks fantastic. Something that struck me were these bullet points:

        Don’t replicate your paper in the mobile world

        Overfocusing a mobile site on articles and headlines is a common error

        Don’t fall for the term “platform agnostic”

        Content shouldn’t be produced in a vacuum and distributed blindly

        Don’t fall in love with mobile reading devices

        The Kindle is wonderful for books, but has severe limitations for news

        Don’t understaff mobile

        Many news organizations still don’t have dedicated mobile producers or developers.

        Really good advice and words to the wise. Thanks for providing another resource and perspective.

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  • MichelleGillies

    I am not from DC, however, I have found the treasure trove of information on Verge New Media has been the most valuable for understanding what is happening in DC. These days the key word is “trust” and there is a very high trust factor at this site. Well written, well presented and readable.
    Thank you.

    • newmediajim

      Michelle, Thank you! I hope to continue to provide posts that provoke thought and provide useful information :)

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  • elliebecker

    There seems to be a growing body of interest in local news. The NY times regional editions is one example. However there are other attempts that are using old media platforms to fill a void in local coverage as large dailies riff out local efforts along with newsroom staff. Here's one effort in suburban New York by a couple of big time print media/daily paper vets. http://bit.ly/1GGFn7 In particular read the comment from editor in chief Peter Moses for additional insight.

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  • http://bradymacdoff.wordpress.com/ Brady Macdoff

    Thanks for sharing the ideas !
    By the way,


    best regards,

  • sandeep0002

    No need of English for girls pictures free images hot online games boys wallpapers all local news etc. Websites can take huge profit from it.

    Local News method: – Press in the address bar, any three keys twice, which are together on keyboard in downward diagnal angle e.g. http://99iijj.com [Ctrl+Enter = www. . com]. This option is working from whole keyboard. After this you will see a web page of http://lacal-news.atoall.com/ Now non English world can read news on internet by http://atoall.com theory.

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    Definitely a game changer!

    Acai Optimum

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    So this game changer is hyped in the local media news? great !!

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