It’s finally here. Atlantic Media‘s much-anticipated new site Defense One launched today, with executive editor Kevin Baron at the helm.
Other editorial staff include associate editor/senior reporter Stephanie Gaskell and reporter Kedar Pavgi along with contributors Marc Ambinder, (previously White House Correspondent for Atlantic Media’s National Journal) James Kitfield and Joshua Foust.
Defense verticals seem to be all the rage these days, with competitors like Roll Call and USA Today rushing products out on the heels of Atlantic Media’s Defense One announcement earlier this year and their all-star hiring spree. Of course, USA Today’s offering—Military Intelligence—is a blog that seems designed to showcase content already in the paper more than original, deep dives and Roll Call thought it was smart to turn over its military coverage to a defense contractor while expecting us to believe this “sponsored content” was as good for its readers as it was for the paper’s bottom line (and the sponsor’s profile).
So, how is Defense One now that they’ve raised the curtain? Let’s have a look…
The top story this morning is a piece from Baron on Egypt’s military that argues, while a coup may not have been what the U.S. had hoped for, the situation on the ground there is nothing like it is in say, Syria or Afghanistan. That’s because we’ve spent three decades building a professional, Western-trained army that behaves kind of just how we’d want them to. Military coup notwithstanding. Interesting take. Gaskell has a piece questioning the readiness and capability of Afghanistan’s government leaders, a metric she says might even be more important than its troops.
We’ve not had a ton of time to peruse the new site, but what’s standing out so far is the tone—it’s not as formal as we’d expected. It’s got a more conversational, a more here’s-what-we-think vibe, and we like that—especially considering the expertise of the editorial staff. We’ll see if it holds true as the site matures. David Bradley, Atlantic Media’s chairman, has promised Defense One will be “brilliant at light speed,” while admitting that “intelligent coverage” and quick-turnaround don’t always go nicely together.
Well, Defense One does seem to have hit the ground running. Here’s hoping they don’t trip.