Our local politics coverage is undergoing a migration, and an upgrade. It will look very different. But it shouldn’t hurt a bit.
First, the shift: Starting this week, Azi Paybarah’s uniquely tireless and obsessive City Hall coverage, as well as the bulk of the New York-centric coverage from the Observer’s politics page, will be presented on PolitickerNY.com, the new New York outpost of the Observer Media Group’s national Politicker network, which is now operating in 16 other states.
Part of the change is cosmetic – it’s a fancy new package in which to display the local political coverage that has, until now, resided on a channel page of the Observer site.
But the transition is also an aspirational one. The new site will be statewide in scope, covering stories that interest us from all around New York and particularly, in a development that goes very much against the run of play these days, from inside the Capitol.
To that end, we’re very pleased to announce the hiring of Jimmy Vielkind, a smart reporter (and proud native of Clifton Park, NY) who we’re quite sure will reward our decision to install him in what may be the world’s last new reporting job.
Between him, Azi and the frighteningly gifted Katharine Jose, we feel pretty good about the odds of this turning into something great.
So why are we doing all this?
Depending on how you look at it, we’re victims of our success – traffic to the Observer’s Politicker blog has more than doubled in the past year, and our employers noticed – or beneficiaries of having one of the very few publishers willing to spend money on a new journalism venture at a time when much of the industry is turning to dust.
And it makes a certain amount of sense from an institutional perspective: the Politicker network adds this new site to its growing collection, while we get more resources to keep doing what we’ve been doing.
But that’s all academic unless you, the readers, continue to read, to give us your feedback, to comment – in short, to stay with us. And we’re trying to make that as simple as smooth as possible for those of you who liked the old set-up just fine.
So: here’s the new local politics page. Please let us know what you think, good or bad, by getting to us directly or in the comments section.
Into the breach we go.