…as told by Glenn Greenwald, via Twitter, just now:

One day, someone woke up and said: “let’s create a perfect exhibit for everything rotted in politics & media.” That’s how Politico was born.

And, as told by Politico co-founder John Harris, in the March/April issue of CJR:

Politico was founded two years ago with a couple of distinct ideas in mind.


The first was that in this crowded media environment, journalists are not commodities. The best journalists have distinctive strengths, with a disproportionate ability to have impact and drive conversation. In a Web era, these journalists have in many cases built their own franchises… Politico seeks to take advantage of this trend by assembling a roster of journalists with a demonstrated ability to thrive on the Web, and then helping them build their franchises…

The second idea on which Politico is based is that today’s niche publications have certain intrinsic advantages in their business models—advantages that are amplified by the Web…We basically cover four related subjects: Congress, the White House, the Washington lobbying and influence industry, and national politics. No one is coming to our site for Washington Redskins news, or Fairfax County crime news. That means we are able to cover our areas of expertise much more intensively. And it means that advertisers know precisely—with a high degree of efficiency—who they are reaching on our site…If you want to reach an educated and affluent demographic that cares intensely about national and civic affairs, talk to Politico.


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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.