Fun times in the Austin media world with a newcomer that has landed in town: Axios, a national news site based in Arlington, Virginia, has launched an Austin-based daily weekday newsletter, fulfilling a goal the company laid out in May.
Axios CEO Jim VandeHei told the Washington Post that the company’s plan was to open outlets in cities across the U.S., covering regional politics, business, education, and major cultural events.
The Austin newsletter debuted on September 27 with two staffers, both former reporters at the Austin American-Statesman: Asher Price, who worked for the paper for 17 years covering state politics and energy, and Nicole Cobler, who worked for the Statesman for three years, covering business and state politics.
Some of the “scoops” they’ve posted recently include:
- Strip mall delights: Try Manna for delicious Korean dishes
- Kids live longer in Central Texas
- Calls to the elderly can reduce anxiety
Axios’ format is not really stories; it’s more a string of one-sentence paragraphs with lots of disruptive bullet points and distracting font treatments. It can be a little hard to read.
In addition, each “story” also includes a summary of “why it matters.” Maybe the choppy format makes it hard for readers to comprehend what they’ve read on their own.
But sometimes they feel awkward. In the case of Manna Korean, do you really need a rumination on the meaningfulness of strip malls?
“Why it matters: Food trucks now supply a lot of the great culinary action, but strip mall joints take us back a decade or two, when Austin was more slacker, less hipster. Relatively cheap rents make them an available rung for immigrants on the ladder to the American dream.”
Axios was first founded in January 2017 with a mission to provide “more efficient coverage” of topics shaping the fast-changing world. The company is transparent in its policies, and the content is free, although readers are encouraged to become members to help support the cause.
The company began launching local newsletters in January 2021, and is now in 14 cities, including Dallas, where Axios launched on Monday, October 4. The company’s goal is to launch online newsletters in up to 50 cities and regions by 2022.