Politico and Reuters join forces to offer news stories

December 22, 2008

As the newsgathering turf retracts in print and broadcast, Politico, the upstart news source from Washington, and Reuters, the wire service, have joined forces to offer articles to newspapers and sell advertising on the newspapers’ Web sites.

The collaboration is the latest among electronic media outlets as they reorganize during a time of steep cutbacks in both broadcast and print.

Politico, started before the 2008 presidential election, recently began offering newspapers a limited number of free articles. Beginning this week, the papers that sign onto that service — the Politico Network — will also see the stream of daily output from Reuters. They can choose up to 10 articles and 10 photographs each day to use in print or on their Web sites.

In exchange, Politico will gain the right to sell ads on the newspapers’ Web pages containing the Politico and Reuters articles and share the revenue with the news outlet. They will not be allowed to sell ads on the printed pages. At the same time, Reuters will begin carrying most of Politico’s stories on its news wires.

CNN is also attempting to build a wire service for print media to compete with the dominant player in that field, The Associated Press. In addition, news services focused on finance, such as Bloomberg News and Dow Jones Newswires, are expanding their coverage of general-interest news.

The Politico Network, introduced in September, already has more than 60 newspapers and more than 40 broadcasters as clients. That’s compared to 1400 clients for the Associated Press.

Since its creation, Politico has hired a staff that includes well-known newspaper and magazine journalists, and has turned into one of the nation’s most popular sources of news on Washington and the political campaigns, with more than 3 million unique visitors each month. Politico is owned by the Allbritton Communications Company, which has a chain of TV stations.

As other news organizations shrink or abandon their Washington bureaus, Politico is expanding from a staff of about 85 people before the election to an expected 105 to 110 in the next few months.

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