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June 18 2013

17:28

“Does that worry you, about newspapers dying?”

The New Republic‘s Isaac Chotiner was hellbent on asking the the tough questions when he interviewed Politico founders John F. Harris and Jim VandeHei. There’s a feisty exchange about the work environment at Politico, especially for their female employees, but the Beltway gentlemen also get into the site’s role in the broader media landscape, as well as where they plan to head with their content.

IC: Is there a story that you are most proud of?

JH: I think of us more in terms of reporters and our young staff, and I think about that in terms of the broader business. It’s crumbling! Carrie Budoff Brown came to us from the Philly Inquirer. It was a shell. The Washington Post is still a strong newspaper, but no one there would say it is providing the number of opportunities for young journalists that it was able to do when I was there.

IC: Does that worry you, about newspapers dying?

JH: Sure, and there are lots of implications there about the future: Who fills in the foreign coverage and local news as they retreat? I’m proud of the role we play in answering questions about the future of our own field. But let’s face it, most stories on any given day are perishable.

IC: This interview will last.

JH: I agree. This will be one for the ages.

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