Briefings: Attention Massachusetts…The Politico Has Landed…
Four months after the first rumblings of its expansion began, Politico, now the preeminent publication for inside the Beltway politics, has made its move. As part of a national strategy to replicate in state capitals what it did in Washington, Politico announced plans in April to hire reporters in several states, including Massachusetts. Now, Politico has found its Bay State scribe.
The Arlington, Va.-based outlet announced Thursday it hired Lauren Dezenski, a writer for The Dorchester Reporter, to build its foundation for “Politico Massachusetts.” Dezenski will start by compiling a Playbook for the Bay State’s raucous political scene, as reporter Mike Allen has long done for national politics. However, that will be just the beginning.
Dezenski joined The Reporter last year shortly after her graduation from Boston University. After covering state races in 2014, she produced The Relay, a newsletter on Boston’s failed effort to host the Olympics. Her website says she worked at The Boston Globe as a metro correspondent in 2013, serving on the team that won a Pulitzer for its Boston Marathon bombing coverage.
The Reporter’s Editor & Publisher, Bill Forry, tweeted that Dezenski “has done great work” and will be missed. The Reporter has distinguished itself for its Boston reporting, including the 2013 mayoral race. Although it enjoyed something of an advantage as Marty Walsh, one of the race’s stars—and ultimate victor—lives in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood.
@gintautasd thanks- we have been fortunate in attracting – if not keeping- top talent 🙂 Let's keep that steak alive!
— Bill Forry (@BillForry) July 31, 2015
The paper has become something of an incubator for local journalistic talent. Dezenski’s predecessor was Gintautas Dumcius, who went on to the State House News Service and now works for Masslive.
State playbooks are a first step toward filling coverage gaps left by print and broadcast cuts and attrition. In-depth stories about politics, policy and the like are sure to follow. Longer-term, more hires and broader coverage could follow in states like Massachusetts, provided Politico’s economic model proves viable here and elsewhere.
In Washington, Politico effectively usurped The Post’s dominance of the federal beat, Northeastern University journalism professor Dan Kennedy told WMassP&I in April. It may try to do same here and challenge the area’s dominant news organization, The Boston Globe. Alternatively, Politico Massachusetts may seek a unique niche amid the “fierce” competition of political journalism in the state.
According to the National Playbook, Massachusetts Playbook will debut in late August.