Ruh-roh, Kim Jong-Il is sick, what happens when he dies? Hell if we know!! And will we truly know tomorrow or whenever this guy gets back to the executive assistant charged with Explainer-ing it for Slate? Not really! As literary Tumblrer Keith Gessen pointed out while trying to make sense of the whole Ossetia mess, you know there's a redundant "inadequacy" to the international news in our dying newspapers when even bloggers with the attention spans of Piper Palin feel it. But isn't that because our dying newspapers have mostly killed their foreign bureaus because there's no money in it?Yes! Which is why, as readers, we are happy these guys from Boston have founded the Politico of international news. (It is already poaching people from Politico.) And those newsroom cutbacks may enable Global News Enterprises LLC.* to put together a pretty strong team. From an announcement in March:
The Boston Globe foreign correspondent Charles M. Sennott leaves April 4 to become executive editor and VP for Global News Enterprises LLC, a new Boston-based website that launches next year to cover international news. Other contributors to the new site will include The New York Times Magazine contributing writer Scott Anderson, Times of London bureau chief Sam Kiley, Newsweek reporter Joshua Hammer and Newsday foreign reporter Matthew McAllester. The site will be led by New England Cable News founder Philip S. Balboni.
Since then we have heard they've added Meline Toumani, formerly of the Times Magazine** as a full-time staffer. So what does it all mean? A gaping black money hole is what Denton predicts! International news, see, is the only sort of content less attractive to advertisers than politics***. And as we have pointed out before, Politico, despite all its trumpeted success, is still something of a mystery, business model-wise. That said, the lead investor in Global News Enterprises LLC is a guy named Amos Hostetter who made a couple billion selling his cable company to Comcast. He isn't afraid to be service-y and may just feel like, since he made all that cash in the business that brought America The Hills he might as well throw a bone to the people still struggling to engage the four brain cells we have left. To sum up, we don't know what will happen in North Korea or what will happen to the people who will try to explain it to us.
*Yeah, it is a worse name than Federal National Mortgage Association, for sure, but maybe they will think of a cute nickname when they go live? **And also of being very beautiful, but that's totally irrelevant except inasmuch as this is Gawker we are talking about. ***'The Economist', of course, does great, mostly because it is so fucking expensive to subscribe to. Though I sometimes worry what would happen if someone founded the Craigslist of all those "Disaster Risk Reduction Advisor" and "Organisation & Governance International Secretariat Office" Help Wanted ads they run. Ha ha ha, they could call it "Formal Encounters."