Update 7/2/2012: The full article is now available online.
Original: The Huffington Post's new iPad magazine Huffington has hit the proverbial newsstands with a very fun, incestuous read on the inner-workings of Politico. We're calling it "incestuous" not just because one of the magazine's most talked-about pieces of long-form journalism since it launched last week is a media story about a fast-paced newsroom that must feel at least somewhat familiar to its staffers, but also because it's written by Michael Calderone, who left Politico in 2010.
The story, "Inside the Cult: Politico at a Crossroads" is hiding behind an iPad app for now, so if you're in that crossroads population of tablet owners who are interested in how the Politico sausage is made (that's everyone, right?) go download it. But for those without access to Huffington Magazine, here's our favorite little metaphor, which arises in a section about the "stressful, hamster wheel environment" created by co-founder Jim VandeHei and editor John Harris (aka, "VandeHarris"):
Politico staffers routinely talk of a Politico "star-system" in which a handful of reporters in the VandeHarris orbit receive preferential treatment from company leadership, while the majority are left drifting in a far off journalistic galaxy. One former staffer likens the newsroom to The Hunger Games, in which young people fight to the death for the enjoyment of a privileged class.
Translation: Politico has its very own District 1 careers and then there are the "Prims" of the newsroom. Fun!
The entire issue of Huffington Magazine can be downloaded here.