TNR on Politico: Inside the Scoop Factory

I have a feature in the upcoming New Republic that looks at Politico, the Washington-based political website/newspaper. As print media faces its biggest crisis ever, with readers and advertisers migrating increasingly online, Politico is thriving.

From the piece:

That Politico was helped by the collapse of print journalism goes without saying. That it was also helped by cable news’ insatiable appetite for the tabloid and the personal is also clear. But, two years into the Politico experiment, there is fascination around Washington with what could be considered the first Internet newspaper, and whether it represents a way to make a business out of political reporting. As traditional newspapers jettison staff, Politico is holding steady. This month, Allbritton told me the venture will turn a profit in six months. “We’re way ahead of budget,” he said. “It wouldn’t surprise me if the profit this year would count in the millions of dollars.”

Read the full piece HERE


6 responses to “TNR on Politico: Inside the Scoop Factory

  1. Very good reporting, good piece on Politico, Gabe. Speaking of how online Internet news sites are slowly replacing print newspaper and magazines, I coined a new word “screening” to replace “reading” in situations and context where a person is “reading” text via a screen apparatus, as the experience, both physically and intellectually, is different. When we read print articles on print paper, we can underline words, circle whole grafs, annotate in the margins, write notes to ourselves, read slowly, re-read again, clip out the article and re-read it again at an even slowly pace, and acutally “think” and analyze what we’ve read. That is “reading”. When we “screen” (read: “read”) we merely quickly glance at copy as fast as we can in order to get to next cool item online, and this is not really READING, this is a new human activity, Gabe, I am SCREENING. I made a website for the new coinage here:


  2. Screening

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Screening, in general, is the investigation of a great number of something (for instance, people) looking for those with a particular problem or feature.

    However, a new term has been coined, “screening” or “to screen”, which means people are reading text through a glass screen on their computer, PDA, phone or Kindle.

    Another example of screening is at an airport, where many bags get x-

  3. The End of the Printed Page, Newspapers, Books and Critical Thinking: Welcome to Screening

    The End of the Printed Page, Newspapers, Books and Critical Thinking: Welcome to the Brave New World of “Screening” Which Replaces “Reading” as a Verb

    Verb 1.

    screening, the act of reading text or viewing text and pictures on a TV screen, cellphone screen, PDA screen or a computer screen, replaced the verb “reading” in the year 2009 AD since most people at that time where getting their information from using TV, phone and computer screens.


    “I don’t like rreading anymore on paper, and I never read newspapers anymore. I prefer to do my screening online.”

    18 year old student, Harvey Mudd University

    I never read newspapers anymore, I spend most of my spare time just screening online and get my information that way,” said high school student Ellen Jones.

    SCREENING REPLACES READING AS A VERB, headline in New York Times reads in 2010

  4. Urban Dictionary – ”screening” was published

    Thanks for your definition of ”screening’ !

    Editors reviewed your entry and have decided to publish it on

    It should appear on this page in the next few days:

    Urban Dictionary



    To read text on a computer screen, cellphone screen, Kindle screen or PDA screen or BlackBerry screen; replaces the term “reading” which now only refers to reading print text on paper

    “I hate reading print newspapers now. I do all my screening online.”

  5. Gabe
    i wrote this here:

    “Reading” online will never be the same! — “Screening” enters the
    online vocabulary.

    Do you “screen” news online, or do you “read” news in print
    newspapers? — A new word has been coined to refer to reading
    information online, changing the way we take in information

    What you are doing now is not reading, but
    “screening.” Yes, you are at this very moment screening the text
    printed digitally on this computer screen. You are not reading text on
    a paper surface; you are “screening” this article through the lens of
    the computer screen in front of you. A new word is born — screening!

    When a top computer industry writer at the New York Times was told
    about this new term, he told me in a one-word email note:

    Screening? Can anyone just coin a new word and make it stick? No, but
    new words are coined every day, and some stick and some don’t. Time
    will tell whether or not “screening” (to mean “reading information on
    a computer screen, as distinct from reading a print newspaper or
    magazine or book”) will stay with us or not. For now, the word has
    been accepted by the editors at and is listed

    Screening is defined as: “To read text on a computer screen, cellphone
    screen, Kindle screen or PDA screen or BlackBerry screen; replaces the
    term “reading” which now only refers to reading print text on paper.”

    Example: “I hate reading print newspapers now. I do all my screening online.”

    The word is so new, not everyone has seen it yet. And many do not
    agree with its coinage.
    Amit Gilboa, an Israeli writer living in Singapore, told me:
    “No, it’s still reading. Whether in a book, a print newspaper,
    chalkboard, whiteboard, it’s still reading words made up of letters.
    Screening is still reading.”

    However, Hidetoshi Abe in Tokyo, Japan, told this reporter he likes
    the new term and agrees it fits our new Internet age. “I think
    ‘screening’ makes perfect sense to represent the way we now take in
    information via computer screens. It’s a whole new ballgame.”

    Reading, of course, is a complex cognitive process of decoding symbols
    printed on
    a paper surface for the purpose of deriving meaning (reading
    comprehension) and/or constructing meaning, according to scholars.
    Written information on a
    printed page is received by the retina, processed by the primary
    visual cortex, and interpreted in Wernicke’s area.

    But when we “read” online (or “screen”, in the new coinage), the
    digitalized information is processed in a different way. Reading
    online is [b]not[/b] the same thing as reading on a paper surface in a book or
    magazine or newspaper.

    Reading on a print paper surface is a means of language acquisition,
    of communication, and of sharing information and ideas. Screening on
    the Internet is a horse
    of a different color.

    Readers of print paper texts use a variety of reading strategies to
    assist with decoding (to translate symbols into sounds or visual
    representations of language), and comprehension. Screening online uses
    other strategies, and the information is processed by our brains in a
    different way as well.

    Reading text on print paper is now an important way for the general
    population in many societies to access information and make meaning.
    However, a new form of reading, called “screening” now takes place when a
    person “reads” text on a computer screen or PDA screen or cellphone
    screen. This form of reading, now called “screening”, is a very
    different form of communcation.

    You have just “screened” your very first article online using this new
    term. You are now an Internet screener. Congratulations, and welcome
    to this amazing new world.

    Comments are more than welcome, pro and con.

  6. Romenesko
    Home > Romenesko
    Jim Romenesko

    Your daily fix of media industry news, commentary, and memos.

    Politico owner: I wouldn’t be surprised if we made millions in 2009
    The New Republic

    Robert Allbritton expects Politico to turn a profit in six months. Still, writes Gabriel Sherman, “some questions about Politico’s sustainability remain. For one thing, it is in many ways a punishing place to work. More than a dozen staffers have left since it was launched, and many complain of the burnout pace. Second, the paper’s business model is untested over the long haul: Even though the outfit is largely paid for by print advertisers who consider Politico a Washington must-read, the site’s web traffic is down more than 50% from its pre-election peak.”
    Posted at 11:00 AM Feb. 17, 2009
    Tools: Comment , e-mail , Permalink

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