Why Web-Forward Media Companies Are Turning To Print
Politico Magazine: Content That Echoes in Your Mind
Politico launched in 2006 with the mission of improving the coverage of politics and government, both in terms of quality and speed. Politico’s fast-paced breaking-news style caught on quickly, but now it’s testing out the long-form, lean back world of magazine journalism with the monthly Politico Magazine launched in December of last year.
Co-founder and editor-in-chief, John Harris, says he was motivated by editorial aspirations to provide a type of enterprise journalism that finds a better home in the magazine format. For Harris, it was another way to engage the elite smart-set audience Politico serves. Politico Magazine offers readers an opportunity to spend more time and respond in more emotional ways to the content, says Harris.
Of course, it has to make sense from a business standpoint. “We don’t really do vanity projects. We do things that we think are going to be good journalism and good business. The advertisers have found this a very attractive platform. The content is very distinctive. It echoes in the mind.”
Harris says another consideration that had to be made was regarding assembling the proper “editorial apparatus” for producing this kind of content. “If you’re going to ask a reader to read 5000 words, that article better be animated by a really good idea. The payoff has to be there to carry me along.”
Though it sometimes appears to be a race to the bottom when it comes to the quality of content online, Harris has an enduring faith in the value of meaningful content—which is backed up by the Politico audience’s thirst for reported work. “We have seen in other types of stories, the work we were most proud of would really go viral and really get a big audience. There’s this belief on the web—and it’s not that it’s untrue—that the way to get traffic is through nonsense, through cat photos, through videos of sharks, a lot of the buzzy things publications do to get traffic. But we had seen in 2012 some of our most [in-depth] campaign content earned monster traffic. We had evidence that the payoff was there for this really ambitious work.”
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Denis Wilson was previously content director for Target Marketing, Publishing Executive, and Book Business, as well as the FUSE Media and BRAND United summits. In this role, he analyzed and reported on the fundamental changes affecting the media and marketing industries and aimed to serve content-driven businesses with practical and strategic insight. As a writer, Denis’ work has been published by Fast Company, Rolling Stone, Fortune, and The New York Times.