I'm not one to usually cover politics, not because I don't think it's important--it's just not really my niche. But I ran across this tid-bit of information at Poynter about a new political website known as Politicker.com and thought it was worthy of a little discussion.
The basis is a national network that provides local political news tailored to each state. The project was launched by New York Observer publisher, Jared Kushner and is off to a solid start with 10 states including:
Eventually Politicker will have individual sites for all 50 states (Kentucky is scheduled to go up this week) and a national site aggregating the local content.
It's a nice way to pull together information and present it in a nice, convenient package but Jay Rosen, a blogger and journalism professor at New York University makes a valid point in this New York Times article. The majority of the content is pulled from local newspapers (at least from what I noticed on the New Hampshire site) and it could use a bit more original reporting. But, that's probably in the works as the site is in its beginning stages.
As far as local ties go, James Pindell, a former political blogger for The Boston Globe, is the managing editor for Politicker and will be hiring young journalists with the responsibility of building each state site. Seems like a great opportunity for up-and-coming journalists looking to get their foot in the door.
Editors for the site will be anonymous and consist of "lawyers, lobbyists and former officeholders" which makes me raise my eyebrow with a little bit of concern. Kushner insists that the site will have no political agenda so I guess that makes me wonder why there is a need for any anonymity at all. I like the concept of this site, but this whole slew of mysterious editors rings a slight warning bell.
For those interested in the site for the upcoming election, the Times reports that Politcker.com plans to have 20 states with sites by Election Day and then will expand to all 50 states by the end of 2009.
No word on when Massachusetts' site will launch.
Update: James Pindell was nice enough to comment on my post, noting that there is plenty of original content on Politicker.com. I perhaps was not clear in my observations when I said that the site could benefit from more original reporting. While I did see some original reporting along with the local content pulled from newspapers, I think the site will prove to be even better as more original reporting comes through. The wording of my original comments may have led some to believe that there was no original reporting at all, so my apologies and thank you to Mr. Pindell for his comment.