Compelling and original reporting are part of disrupting journalism, Politico editor suggests at ISOJ

Despite most of the day’s focus on page clicks and adapting journalism to new formats and platforms, Politico editor Susan Glasser told ISOJ attendees Friday that great original journalism is at the heart of the organization’s “disruption” of the industry.

“Original reporting is a recipe for journalism that holds its value,” said Glasser, at the 16thannual International Symposium on Online Journalism (ISOJ).

Susan Glasser
Evan Smith, editor and CEO of The Texas Tribune, speaks with Susan Glasser, editor at Politico at the 2015 ISOJ on the University of Texas-Austin campus, Apr. 17, 2015. Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/Knight Center

Yet, showing up and reporting the news first isn’t enough anymore, Glasser said. Organizations need to remain competitive.

She offered a few pieces of observation and advice.

The transformation to a new journalism is still in the early days, said Glasser, adding newspapers’ home pages still look like the front pages of their print product.

Further, she said that too many publications are chasing eyeballs without an idea of how new implementations will work in the long term and without a strategic sense of how changes fit into journalism.

Journalists need to know what they’re good at.

And finally, non-partisan, independent, critical-minded journalism is not dead, she proclaimed.

Susan Glasser
Susan Glasser, editor at Politico, speaks at the 2015 ISOJ on the University of Texas-Austin campus, Apr. 17, 2015. (Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/Knight Center)

When asked by The Texas Tribune’s editor and CEO Evan Smith whether Politico is worried about spreading resources too thin despite a relatively large corps of journalists, Glasser responded that the organization “has grown very quickly, but in a very lean and mean way.”

Eight years after it first launched, the organization is still reinventing itself, she said.

Three years ago, it started issuing new policy “verticals.” Then Politico Magazinelaunched in 2013.

The organization is expanding its model of focusing on “the intersection of politics and policy” to a new part of the world as it plans to launch Politico Europe in Brussels next week.

Glasser said the organization chose Europe for expansion in part because of German partner and publisher AxelSpringer. The news organization will also expand the pool of Anglophone and digital coverage for Europeans and global business people, she said.

Additionally, the organization plans to create more bureaus around the United States as part of what Glasser calls an effort to “save statehouse reporting.”

ISOJ 2015: Susan Glasser Keynote, from Knight Center on Vimeo.