Politics of Competition. (Federal News)

By Duck, Michael | American Journalism Review, March 2003 | Go to article overview

Politics of Competition. (Federal News)


Duck, Michael, American Journalism Review


Washington politics can be intense and fickle. W So too, the capital's newsstands.

Big changes are underway in the world of publications that cover federal happenings. Readers of Roll Call and The Hill will find that their Congress-oriented papers are not only publishing more often, but establishing more individual personalities. And readers who sought tidbits on the executive branch in the Federal Paper will find only disappointment, as the startup folded in January after just four months.

Late last year both Roll Call and The Hill announced they would expand to three issues a week, upping the ante in their eight-and-a-half-year rivalry And while Roll Call aims to continue as the classy elder statesman of Capitol coverage, The Hill wants to be the colorful, fun one.

"I think we're a much livelier looking paper than they are," says Hugo Gurdon, The Hill's editor in chief since January Roll Call Editor Tim Curran, on the other hand, says his paper emphasizes "hard news and investigative journalism" and gets "behind the scenes more than some other publications."

Articles in both papers range from investigations into ethics violations to reports on committee appointments to briefs on who's moving into which office. According to EPA International, Roll Call's circulation is 18,123, less than The Hill's 22,403. …

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