Why It Matters: If they’re mocking you, you’ve done something right.
“Even if you didn’t like Politico, you have to acknowledge that it completely changed the game,” said one White House reporter, and not one who works for Politico. “Oh, you have something that moves the ball an inch forward and you can shout that it’s a huge scoop? Publish it. Every news organization, for better or worse, has been following that model, and it’s because of Mike. Mike brought it to its logical conclusion with Axios.”
Axios has bigger ambitions than changing Washington’s news diet. Led by Allen’s fellow Politico alum Jim VandeHei, the company has a broad audience in mind: tens of millions of smart people who seek out quick news on a daily basis. Like Politico, Axios delivers news fast — but distilled down to a few sentences or bullet points. And like Playbook, Axios has created another language, framing the day’s stories under tags like: “Be smart,” “Why it matters,” “Go deeper,” and occasionally the highest praise, “Worthy of your time.” Allen calls these little framing phrases “Axioms,” and they litter Axios’s coverage of politics, media, business, and tech. Rival reporters call them primers for warmed-over conventional wisdom, but if you read Axios consistently enough, you can find yourself texting in Axiosese to friends.