Boston Globe wants to make political-junkie-style coverage accessible

On Friday, The Boston Globe launched Capital, a new section on politics that comes out Fridays in print and updates regularly online. That means more coverage of politics, politicians and policy for readers.

So how is this different from how the Globe now covers politics?

"For starters, there'll be more of it," Boston Globe Editor Brian McGrory told Poynter.

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley outside the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., in January. Coakley is running for governor. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

It's added a new editor, Felice Belman, and a new political reporter, David Scharfenberg. And until the general election in November, the Globe is working with SocialSphere to present polls each week on big issues and track the conversation on Massachusetts politics as they happen on social media. It will also cover the people influencing the conversation, offer in-depth explainers and more commentary.

"The intent here is to add not only depth, but some breeze," McGrory said, "to not just be the paper of record on Massachusetts politics, but to have a new section of intense interest."

For some time, the Globe has wanted to add to its political coverage, McGrory said "and from time to time in the past, we have. We've published books, some of the best sellers, on Ted Kennedy, Mitt Romney, and John Kerry. Here, we found a front office that was willing to invest in stronger political coverage during a wide open campaign season, and we in the newsroom gratefully jumped on it."

The Globe has launched other verticals, out on their own or within the paper's site, including BDC Wire and BetaBoston.

"We can attract a larger audience with quality journalism which is concentrated around a particular interest -- real estate, travel, sports, and politics," Mike Sheehan, Boston Globe's CEO, told Poynter. "This audience will inherently be of greater value to advertisers."

On Friday, Capital's first publication was 12 pages long, McGrory said, "and likely that many in the foreseeable future." The site, he said, will also be updated constantly. Stories on the site now include one on a state-wide presidential candidate drought, a political quiz on the governor's race, a cheat sheet entitled "What you need to know about DeLeo’s gun bill," and a political term of the week (it's "tracker.")

"Some components of the enhanced coverage will undoubtedly be consumed by the influence leaders in the region, but it's geared toward our broader readers," McGrory said. "The ambition is to make politics accessible to all, in a way that's certainly important, but often enjoyable to read."


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