The entrepreneurial journalist

From This Town, by Mark Leibovich, pg 116. They’re talking about the journalist who runs the Playbook gossip column but I think the discussion of him as an exemplar of a new journalistic type is very interesting:

If such qualities can coexist, Mikey can be perceived as both a decent and solid friend, and also an exemplar of the D.C. operator. He is always touting Playbook, cultivating his brand as the city’s ultimate “entrepreneurial journalist,” another one of those fashionable news business terms. “The most successful journalists have their own unique brand and circle of friends,” VandeHei, Politico’s executive editor, said. “This is the Facebook-ization of politics and D.C. The more friends or acquaintances you have, the more time you spend interacting with them via e-mail and I.M., the more information you get, move, and market.” VandeHei’s conceit equates Allen’s circle of friends to a commodity—exactly the kind of mutual back-scratching undercurrent that gives “friendship” in Washington its quotation marks. “Playbook is D.C.’ s Facebook,” VandeHei concluded. “And Mike’s the most popular friend.”

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