Samir’s Selection 01/30/2016 (a.m.)

    • The rise and fall (or at least pending reinvention) of Politico is a fascinating window into the current media world — and just how hard it is to build a financial success in such a crowded marketplace.
    • What Politico was (a hyper-metabolized political report that treated campaigns and Congress as a giant game involving some of the most powerful, important and self-important people in the world) and what it evolved into (a site that relied heavily on wonky, policy focused, subscriber-only content) is the story, in a lot of ways, of what happens when journalistic ambition meets business reality.
    • The central conceit of Politico was based on a simple belief: The Internet allowed for and created the desire for lots and lots of content delivered minute by minute. Rather than waiting until 6 p.m. to publish the best work of your reporters, Politico pushed its reporters to publish every single scoop or piece of insight the second they learned it — and as early in the day as possible. The motto “win the morning” caused lots and lots of eye-rolling in some of the more conventional media corridors of Washington, but the sentiment it expressed was exactly right: No one was waiting around anymore to hear what a media organization had to say about something that happened even a few hours ago. They wanted to know now.
    • But, without a staff that fully bought into that concept, it would have never gone anywhere. The realization that New York media was an untapped resource for just the sort of reporting and metabolism Politico wanted brought Maggie Haberman, Glenn Thrush and Ben Smith — to name just a few — into the national spotlight, where they shined. Into that mix, Politico added D.C. types like Mike Allen, Jonathan Martin and John Bresnahan.
    • But an announcement in late 2010 suggested that Politico’s massive successes in those spaces might not be mirrored in the more strict definition of success for a company: Making money
    • In mid-November 2010, Politico announced that it was starting Politico Pro — “a subscription service providing highly detailed, rapid-fire reporting on the politics of energy, technology and health care,” according to its own news story on the move. Pro was the exact opposite of the founders’ original vision for Politico; a company built on the idea of covering the politics of politics at a national level was suddenly starting a niche-y policy venture aimed quite clearly at the Washington crowd.
    • And, Pro rapidly became hugely profitable for the company. By my count, it now employs 159 people — including business staff — across 13 policy verticals. (The Energy and Transportation vertical has 14 reporters and editors alone!)
    • The European expansion is too early in its development to offer judgment — although there are signs that the European media industry isn’t exactly booming at the moment.
    • The arc of Politico reaffirms to me just how difficult it is to make money running a journalistic enterprise. (The Post, as you may know, is owned by billionaire Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.) Journalistic success, which Politico clearly achieved, is not the same thing as financial success.
    • We need Politico — and every other journalistic enterprise — to keep trying to tackle the problem of profitability (or lack thereof) in the media business. Politico’s trajectory to date, however, provides a cautionary tale of the difference between succeeding as a journalistic endeavor and succeeding as a business venture. We would all do well to heed it.
  • tags: SETI Fermiparadox extraterrestrialintelligence astronomy philosophy logic EnricoFermi

  • The Obama administration will require companies to disclose what they pay employees by gender, race and ethnicity in a new push to crack down on workplace inequality.The White House said the US needed to catch up with its international peers as it released data showing the wage gap between American men and women is 2.5 percentage points bigger than the average for rich countriesIn the UK the gender wage gap has come down by 9 percentage points since 2000 and in Belgium, Ireland and Denmark it is down by about 7 percentage points over the same period, the White House found…The disclosure requirement, which was unveiled as a proposal, would apply to businesses with 100 or more employers and cover 63m people — or about 40 per cent of the US civilian workforce — the White House said.The White House move mirrors steps taken in the UK, where prime minister David Cameron’s government is this year forcing companies with more than 250 employees to publish the difference between the average pay and bonuses of male and female staff.

    tags: Obama wealth income inequality policy salary employment disclosure transparency

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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