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PoliticsDaily: Old-School Journalism in a Dot-Com Package

4 years ago
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Welcome to PoliticsDaily.com, a political news magazine for the general reader updated every day, throughout the day. Instead of leading off with extravagant claims about how we're the best thing since Caller ID, what I really want to promise is that we'll work hard to distinguish ourselves the old-fashioned way, with heavily reported, well-written stories. We'll offer a mix of straight news and opinion -- and a mix of views in our reported commentary. And I can't tell you how grateful we all are that AOL (yes, Alec Baldwin, deal with it!) is willing to take this gamble, and fund a small team of old pros committed to traditional journalistic values.


What PoliticsDaily.com offers is effectively counter-programming: Instead of attempting to dominate the 10-second news cycle, we mean to offer a thoughtful take on events. We value writing at a moment when the conventional wisdom says that nothing could matter less. Instead of hiring twenty-somethings on the cheap, I've favored seasoned folks to the point that our unofficial tagline is "250 years of journalism.'' Another way in which we're different is that we're paying bloggers for their work-because it is work, and thus ought to be compensated.

In his New York Times column some weeks ago, Nicholas Kristof worried in print about whether, as ink-on-paper news outlets disappear, we'll get more and more of our information from highly partisan sources that only confirm and never challenge our existing biases. PoliticsDaily.com wants to be the antidote to that impulse, offering smart pieces from across the ideological spectrum.

I recently was in Evansville, Ind., where my parents live, to cover Sarah Palin's speech at a pro-life dinner there. (No, we most certainly are not above luring in readers with a gateway drug, hoping they stick around for the hard stuff). At a League of Women Voters lunch there, the local Congressman, former Vanderburgh County Sheriff Brad Ellsworth, made the same point Kristof had: "When you see the gotcha that goes on,'' with both right and left not only claiming they're correct 100 percent of the time but "trying to make the other side look like serial killers,'' neither side is wholly credible. "Whether you watch 24/7 Fox or 24/7 MSNBC,'' he told the crowd. "Don't watch only that.'' Instead, make sure you're exposed to multiple views, and thus the whole picture. Which is what we'll do our best to offer at PoliticsDaily.com.

Our New Approach to Comments

In an effort to encourage the same level of civil dialogue among Politics Daily’s readers that we expect of our writers – a “civilogue,” to use the term coined by PD’s Jeffrey Weiss – we are requiring commenters to use their AOL or AIM screen names to submit a comment, and we are reading all comments before publishing them. Personal attacks (on writers, other readers, Nancy Pelosi, George W. Bush, or anyone at all) and comments that are not productive additions to the conversation will not be published, period, to make room for a discussion among those with ideas to kick around. Please read our Help and Feedback section for more info.

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