Tiger Beat On The Senne
June 25, 2015 10:13 AM   Subscribe

Can Politico make Brussels sexy?
In other words, the appetite for Politico in DC existed before Politico did. The audience for a digital-first gossip-mongering Brussels-based Anglophone pan-European publication does not yet exist, and each one of those constitutive elements presents its own problem. Continental Europeans are not used to a headlong online media culture of breaking news. They remain much more committed than Americans to a separation of serious reportage and entertainment, and they are more inclined to doubt the journalistic value of moral scandal. They view Brussels as, at best, a grey backwater of minor trade quarrels and, at worst, an abscess of smug antidemocratic technocrats bloated with regulatory power. And, finally, there’s the question of whether a “pan-European” outlook can even be said to exist.
posted by the man of twists and turns (16 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
I live in the EU and the more coverage of the EU there is, the better the EU will be for democracy.
posted by parmanparman at 10:15 AM on June 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure Politico made DC sexy, just worse.

Also, as a general proposition, Politico sucks, not only as a publication, but morally and ethically as well. They're scum; craven lackeys to people in power and influence, indifferent to actual governing, peddling other people's agendas in rumor and innuendo, and they make the world worse for being in it.

They're the 21st century equivalent like a 17th century French courtier.
posted by leotrotsky at 10:25 AM on June 25, 2015 [9 favorites]


I was disappointed in European Politico's coverage of the British elections this year. They hired Ben Judah as their main correspondent there- he knows how to write in a dramatic, entertaining, and breathless way which gets lots of clicks but plays fast and loose with misleading claims and flourishes and purple prose.
posted by Bwithh at 10:35 AM on June 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Continental Europeans are not used to a headlong online media culture of breaking news. They remain much more committed than Americans to a separation of serious reportage and entertainment, and they are more inclined to doubt the journalistic value of moral scandal.

How I wish this were also true in the US. I hate the fusion of entertainment and information US "news" has become.
posted by Sangermaine at 10:40 AM on June 25, 2015


Continental Europeans are not used to a headlong online media culture of breaking news. They remain much more committed than Americans to a separation of serious reportage and entertainment, and they are more inclined to doubt the journalistic value of moral scandal.

ROTFLMAO. Methinks the Grauniad needs to get out more.
posted by chavenet at 10:46 AM on June 25, 2015 [5 favorites]


"more inclined" might seem to imply, but does not actually mean "very inclined", or even "particularly inclined"
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:02 AM on June 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


That place is so weird. A friend is a reporter there. Its pretty much a business, run by two conservatives who used to write for the Post.

The fucking worst is Dylan Byers.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:20 AM on June 25, 2015


I'm not familiar with Politico except through this article, where they sound absolutely toxic. Pushing for the constant, breathless rolling-news style of reporting; celebrity-style invasive reporting of the wedding celebrations of minor officials; criticising that spokeswoman's hair and makeup.

I agree that European political news needs to be better reported (at least, it does in the UK), but these people seem to want to bring everything that's most awful about American-style "news" reporting and bring it over here. If true, I hope they crash and burn.

Granted, this seems like something of a hatchet job from the Graun -- they even take the time to point out that this upstart American woman is SO LOUD on her phone, no manners -- so I suppose I should take it with a large pinch of salt.
posted by metaBugs at 11:23 AM on June 25, 2015


No, Tiger Beat on the Potomac is really that bad. Though they're very much a creature of the Village.
posted by NoxAeternum at 11:49 AM on June 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Guardian contradicted itself bigtime with the "Europeans like less spectacle in their journalism" line , and then mentioning Bild, the largest newspaper in Europe is a tabloid cesspool on the same level as the Murdochs British and American outlets. I think the highest selling newspaper in most countries in Europe aren't the well-informed, balanced newspapers, but the scandals and gossip rags.
posted by lmfsilva at 12:38 PM on June 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Didn't read like a hatchet job to me. Quite the opposite. From what I know of the people it covered, it seemed to get them and their MO quite well.

If they're funding the newsroom and concentrating on the quality of the audience as a more important factor than the raw hits, good luck to 'em. It's far better than the reverse. And it's not as if European politics is overflowing with lively coverage - a really big problem across the continent is disconnection from the EU instruments. The only thing worse than being talked about...
posted by Devonian at 12:45 PM on June 25, 2015


A great, close-to-the-ground, neutral, realpolitik and data-based Anglophone voice regarding the supra-national (?) powers in Europe would be very much welcome, and Politico is pretty much the opposite of all of those things, except being close to the ground.

For some of the flaws of this truly horrible publication (which is nonpartisan in the sense that Fox News is "fair and balanced"), here's a short rundown from Nate Silver, not the be-all and end-all of journalism, but somebody who is making a fairly good-faith effort.
posted by lackutrol at 12:52 PM on June 25, 2015


Can Politico make Brussels sexy?

This is one of those Betteridge's law things, right? Because Politico has never been sexy, made anything sexy, or generally appeared within hundreds of miles of the word sexy. Although I guess it's a fitting testament to their incredibly shallow, vapid commentary that such a stupid question would even be asked.
posted by dialetheia at 1:33 PM on June 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


Sangermaine: "How I wish this were also true in the US."
It's not even true in Europe, as chavenet also said.
posted by brokkr at 3:51 PM on June 25, 2015


I've got 5 years as an EU lobbyist and about 15 as a lobbyist generally so I've got I think a reasonably informed view.

I welcome this development. The Brussels bubble has been well covered from the inside by EurActive (who recently upped their game hiring Ian Hall, veteran of UK lobbying trade paper Public Affairs news) but it needs some competition to not be complacent.

Politico EU's imported Americans are less interesting to my eye than the fact that they've got Ryan Heath, Neelie Kroes' former comms chief writing for them. He's about as astute an operator as it's possible to imagine and if anyone can turn comitology procedure and trialog into compelling copy, it's him.
posted by dmt at 1:44 AM on June 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


dialetheia: "Although I guess it's a fitting testament to their incredibly shallow, vapid commentary that such a stupid question would even be asked."

Ugh, the "winning the morning" people.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:59 PM on June 29, 2015


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