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In the 2024 election year, The New York Times will relaunch its flagship politics newsletter
Future News 171: Platform will be rebooted after the passing of Blake Hounshell
With a year to go before the first votes are cast to decide the next President of the US, The New York Times is on the look-out for a new editor of ‘On Politics’.
The newsletter was shelved by the outlet after its editor Blake Hounshell passed away at just 44 in January. Hounshell, a former editor at Politico and serial journalistic innovator, wrote the newsletter every weekday out of Washington.
The rebooted platform will aim to highlight reporting from The Times’ political team, including Trump-watcher extraordinaire Maggie Haberman and Jonathan Swan, whilst allowing the editor to publish their own scoops and original writing.
But it won’t be a walk in the park. “The ideal candidate will be able to sustain a rigorous pace over the course of 2024 presidential campaign,” The Times said.
The hiring drive comes as outlets — both in the US and abroad — hope to sure-up their editorial offerings leading into what could be the most contentious modern US election yet.
A recent poll found that Trump was leading Biden in five out of six battleground states, but Robert Kennedy Jr., an outspoken anti-vaccine activist, could draw votes from Trump in a three-way run-off between the candidates (RFK Jr. is campaigning as an independent).
In what is also expected to be the first major AI-enhanced election, technology outlet Wired has launched a dedicated politics vertical staffed by four journalists.
The team includes the disinformation expert David Gilbert (formerly of Vice) and ex-Bloomberg journalist William Turton, who will reportedly focus on the tricks and trades of online campaigning.
As of The Times’ main domestic press rival, The Washington Post’s new CEO Will Lewis will be taking the reins in January and more editorial innovations may be announced then.
Politico, meanwhile, is still looking to hire in California, while other newsletter-driven outlets, namely Axios, Punchbowl and Puck, will hope to capitalise and grow their existing influence and reader bases across 2024.
Notably, Puck’s Tara Palmeri signed a podcast deal with Spotify earlier in the year, launching ‘Somebody’s Got to Win’ into a hotly contest audio ecosystem which includes ‘Pod Save America’, ‘NPR Politics’ and the BBC’s ‘Americast’.
Of the major broadcasters, both CNN (Mark Thompson) and Fox News (Lachlan Murdoch) have had new leaders installed in the past year. And insurgents like Newsmax will want to improve their market share.
But a growing media battlefield is increasingly emerging away from linear TV, namely on YouTube where more and more US voters get their news from.
Here, the likes of The Young Turks and Ben Shapiro wield considerable influence, while candidates drop-in on their favourite sports and entertainment video podcasts (a favoured tactic of both Trump and RFK Jr.).
If all of the above tells you anything, it’s that the election is going to be noisy, very bloody noisy.
The New York Times declined to comment for this story.
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