Scott Karp of Publishing 2.0 is evangelistic about what he terms “link journalism“: selecting and sharing links to the best content around the web (either as an extension of your content or as a goal in and of itself) rather than being a pure content producer. Today he reviews the new Washington Post Political Browser, where staff writers and editors share links to the stories they’re reading around the web.
Eric [Pianin, politics editor for washingtonpost.com] acknowledged that washingtonpost.com is “late to the party,” but in fact the Political Browser puts the Post way out ahead of many other news sites — while many have begun to recognize the value of aggregation and links, most have been slow to act.
As Eric points out, it’s “not just aggregation.” (Heck, any algorithm can do aggregation — that’s increasingly a commodity.) What Political Browser has set out to do, according to Eric, is put The Washington Post “stamp of approval” on the choice of stories, and to provide “insight” into what’s important in the sphere of political news on the web.
Also looking beyond commodity aggregation, The Post believes, with good reason, that a lot people who are interested in political news and in the Post’s political reporting would find it interesting to get “inside the heads” of Post journalists, to see what they are reading and what is informing their reporting.
This is a great example of how a traditional media brand can leverage its reputation and trust factor to succeed on the web. I agree with Karp in that it’s ludicrous to pretend that competitors aren’t a mouse click or Google search away.