Some thoughts on the print edition…
UPDATE: Big question…will they get the cherished Drudge-link on their first day?!?
UPDATE2: Full list of Politico boxes forthcoming…UPDATE: Scratch that: “Anyone looking for a specific paper box location may call 202.289.1155. One of our Politico staffers will direct the caller to the closest paper box in town.”
UPDATE3: One Politico’r tells FishbowlDC that none of the ads were given away for free.
UPDATE4: Another impression — man, these guys are gonna be busy. Writing news stories, blogging, writing the individual columns, radio, TV, web stuff…The Politico obviously brought out all the big hitters for their inaugural issue, but the staff writers who didn’t make the paper are definitely gonig to come in very handy very soon…Not everyone’s got the stamina of Mike Allen…
First criticism: Lots of the print articles cannot be found online. Very frustrating.
The issue had plenty of ads, but, of course, the real question is: How many of those ads were given away for free?
The format (tabloid) differs from both The Hill and Roll Call, which fold their paper in half.
Tom DeLay pens an oped in their inaugural issue.
It weighs in at 40 pages (today’s Hill was 40, Roll Call had 32)
Fear not: You’ve got Sudoku and a Crossword
Paper / ink quality? Good.
They’re definitely employing a casual writing style. To wit:
I feel an OMG coming somewhere…
Front page layout design is perfectly fine, but certainly didn’t wow you. Further, newsstand copies obviously don’t have a mailing address (unlike copies sent to specific locations), which leaves an odd looking blank space in the lower left hand corner (makes you feel like maybe they couldn’t sell an ad or something).
Lots more when you click below…
Circulation is 25,000 and there are roughly 100 boxes around town, including, in a very smart move, ones not on Capitol Hill.
Interesting note from VandeHarris (which, as we moaned about above, is also not available online):
It’s an odd moment, to be sure in the larger context of our profession. Layoffs are the norm at many news organizations. Buyouts and involuntary reassignments, accompanied by all-newsroom memos about more wrenching changes ahead, are the fashion at others. To be optimistic about the future in this climate of gloom is an act of will.
The Roll Call / The Hill cartoon dig (below) is also reprinted on the page where Vandehei and Harris welcome readers, which does seem to be a bit of a juvenile low-blow (especially when it’s put on the Bosses page).
Harry Jaffe chimes in on the Politico here, with this notable point:
The Politico itself (or Allbritton, generally)makes up most of the classfied ads in the back of the paper, including ads for a news anchor, annnouncer/producer, talk show producer, political talk show host and general Politico staffers.
They also have an ad for PoliticoJobs.com, which aims to be “the best new resource for inside-the-Beltway jobs!”
Beneath the hype and video cams, Politico is a formidable undertaking with a good chance for success. But that chance has more to do with business and finance than it does with journalistic prowess.
With all due respect to the talent assembled by Harris and VandeHei, itâ€™s not as if the new medium is going to sprinkle fairy dust on the words and images pumped out by political reporters old or new. Politico’s success depends on its business model and patient money.
Again, send us your thoughts all day and we’ll get them up later (but please limit them to constructive, thoughtful criticism or positive feedback…we won’t publish ones that seem them purposely mean or baseless).