Political News and Social Media with Politico Editor Jim VandeHei


The future of grassroots diplomacy, the growth of emerging communications channels like social and mobile for news consumption, finding an audience for political news beyond The Beltway and Politico’s appearance in columns by Howard Kurtz and David Carr are among the topics discussed in this exclusive podcast.  

If you’re in public relations or media relations and you are looking for media pitching tips with this Outlet you will find this interview very valuable.

This show is about political news in the digital age with Jim VandeHei, the executive editor and co-founder of POLITICO, a nonpartisan media company covering national politics and Washington governance.

Jim VandeHei, along with John F. Harris and Allbritton Communications, launched Politico in early 2007 and his since established it as a leading US new media company.

Vanity Fair recently named him one of the 100 most powerful Information Age thinkers for helping create the “model for the new media success story.”

Mr. VandeHei is a keynote speaker at the PRSA International Conference.


01:56 — What earned media maven’s should know about Politico’s editorial personality, and how they carved out a niche in a category previously dominated by entrenched incumbents.

03:57 — Politico’s content is distributed via print, website, shared media and a mobile apps, and Jim discusses his growth expectations for digital distribution.

5:50 — Joe DeMattoes, CEO of the Health Facilities Association of Maryland asks, “Getting to Politico and your core business, define the role of social media in your publication and business model?”

07:55 — With Nearly 100,000 Twitter followers, Politico reaches double the number of followers of Roll Call and Congressional Quarterly.  Jim responds to David G. Bradley’s quote in David Carr’s column media equation, which read, “I think that Politico’s entrance entirely changed what had been a pretty cozy market with a few incumbents — National Journal, CQ and Roll Call — and kudos to them for demonstrating there was a market beyond the Beltway.”  A discussion of what Politico is doing differently to resonate with audiences beyond the Beltway.

10:10 — How Politico amalgamates the old media values of fairness and accuracy with the speed and immediacy of new technologies.

12:00 – Don Kilburg, Foreign Service Officer at the U.S. Dept. of State asks, “In this era of instant communication and grassroots diplomacy, we recently observed someone previously unknown hijack the national discourse by threatening to burn a Koran. We then observed high ranking public officials comment directly on this, including the President. Do you think we’ll see more of this sort of grassroots diplomacy hijacking and where should high ranking officials and media editors draw the line in potentially adding fuel to the fire by covering it?”

14:10 — A discussion of the media’s responsibility with respect to Wikileaks, and whether or not the government should be able to abdicate the public’s right to know in the interest of “national security.”

16:43 — Jim responds to Howard Kurtz’s column about Politico blogger Ben Smith’s ability to draw vitriolic criticism with middle-of-the-road content and whether or not there’s anything that can be done to encourage greater tolerance for different points of view on the blogosphere.

21:30 — At first, democrats were significantly better at using social media to their advantage, but we’re starting to see republicans do a much better job.  Resonating with an audience is all about understanding what they need and giving it to them.

24:50 — How to get an editorial board meeting with Politico and how to pitch news to reporters in the Politico newsroom.

28:16 — End

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