When my father emailed me asking for my definition of Politico.com, I scribbled this in reply: “Politico is a news site, but its reporters also keep active blogs.”
I didn’t think much of my response at the time. But now that I re-read my assessment, I realize it's really no wonder the site became one of my go-to sources for all things politics during this election cycle.
Well, I found that during Obama’s run, I was hungry not only for straight reporting, but also for perspectives, dialogue and active conversation. As a blogger, I developed a deep respect for the writers who posted their words online, engaged with their readers, sometimes took public lashings from the community at large, and even went to far as to make public their online contact information. People like Andrew Sullivan of The Atlantic. Sam Stein of The Huffington Post.
And Ben Smith, of Politico. Who I had the fortune of conversing with, particularly on how deeply personal this election was to so many.
So naturally, his story in Politico’s glossy Presidential Inauguration magazine (which hit the stands in D.C. yesterday and is viewable online here) is also deeply personal to me.
Not so much because of my little contribution to the article, but rather because, through his writing, it’s clear that he developed a relationship with each one of the people he mentions. The stories he highlights are ones that his readers actively sent him… over the past 14 months (that boggles my mind!). Ones that his readers felt comfortable sharing with him. In part, I’m sure, because he broke down that imaginary wall between reporter/subject, thus creating thinker/thinker relationships.
Wow. In my opinion, that kind of ongoing dialogue—new to journalism—is the key to making a story truly powerful.
Can’t wait to see the magazine in print.