Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Politico arrives in Europe

The growth of Politico media group  is one of the most interesting processes on the western media scene. Its stunning success is due to the quality of its journalists who were issued from the best US dailies and its combination of website, confidential newsletters and a free sheet delivered in the centre of Washington.  Last year, Politico opened a branch in New York. Now, it intends to start a new website in Brussels to deal with the activities and the lobbies of the European Union.

Considering the experience of Politico people with the politics and the lobbies of Washington, it looks like a great idea to move to the capital of Europe, in spite of the local competition.

If you look at the website, you are impressed with the quality of the magazine that covers more and more international affairs. Six years ago, Politico was devoted to the intricate politics of inside Washington. Now, it is more and more involved in world news and its coverage makes it a useful tool for European readers.

Several conclusions can be drawn from this experience. First, in the digital world, quality pays. The best journalists provide the best stuff which people are willing to buy. Then a print newspaper is not very good at launching new innovative digital products. Politico would not have grown the way it did if it had been a branch of the Washington Post. Last but not least, is it possible to start such a digital powerhouse in Europe? I would say yes but it takes the initiative of good news professionals and business savvy managers. They exist in France, Germany or the UK. They should start  right now.