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March 4, 2020updated 30 Sep 2022 9:00am

Politico grows UK team as it expands post-Brexit policy coverage

By Charlotte Tobitt

Politico Europe is expanding its UK team after identifying a “massive opportunity for policy-focused coverage” post-Brexit.

Four new reporting and editing roles are being created to bolster the London-based editorial team, who will move to a larger office in April.

The new roles are expected to be advertised this month, with more editorial and commercial vacancies set to open up later this year.

Politico Europe currently has about ten journalists based in London.

Politico editor-in-chief Stephen Brown (pictured), who is based in Brussels, told Press Gazette: “We were trying to work out what we do post-Brexit.

“For the last couple of years we focused very heavily on the politics of Brexit, especially between London and Brussels and the other European capitals.

“Now we think, for a policy-focused publication like us, what do we do next? [There is a] massive opportunity for policy-focused coverage going forward.”

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Brown pointed to the “complex” ongoing trade talks between the UK and Europe and “Britain’s relationship with the US and our chance to build or rebuild our relationships with the rest of the world”.

“So there’s lots and lots of flesh to be put on the bones and we think we can do that, so we need more people,” he said.

Some of the new coverage will be behind the paywalled Politico Pro section, while the rest will be in the free section of the site alongside reports from its Westminster correspondents.

The Politico Europe website will introduce a UK-specific policy section, the first country to be covered in this way on the site.

Politico coverage is usually divided by policy sections rather than geographic location, for example financial services, healthcare, trade, and sustainability.

Brown said this was because “we think the complexity of the post-Brexit market merits it”, adding that it is a “market where we think we can grow”.

UK editor Kate Day has been promoted to the new role of UK executive editor to lead this “next phase of growth”.

In an email to staff announcing the expansion on Monday, Brown wrote: “Under [Day’s] guidance, we will expand our prize-winning London newsroom to launch new areas of coverage for readers of our subscription services and our free newsletters and home page.”

He added that Day, a former Telegraph director of digital content, is a “strategic thinker who has been an advocate of innovation since joining us in 2015, and she had a central role in devising our new UK plan”.

“She’s also a great networker and one of those rare journalists who excels at nurturing a team.”

Brown also pointed to the success of recent years, revealing that the daily London Playbook email newsletter, written by former Daily Mirror political editor Jack Blanchard since its 2017 launch, now has 46,000 subscribers.

Brown said: “We know that very senior people in Downing Street and Westminster read us – we know it because they tell us.”

Politico Europe currently employs 74 journalists. Brussels is its biggest bureau, followed by London, Berlin and Paris.

The outlet previously expanded its UK team with two new editorial hires last year as it began to prepare for a “surge in demand” for policy stories post Brexit.

Politico was founded in the US to cover politics and policy but has been run independently in Europe since 2015 as a joint venture between Politico in Washington and Axel Springer.

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