In the middle of a media-saturated political season, Jared Kushner, publisher of The New York Observer, has been quietly nurturing an ambitious political journalism venture.
The plan is to pull together 50 Web sites, one for each state, into a political hub called Politicker.com. Each site will serve as an intensely local source for political articles, speculation and scandal, Mr. Kushner said.
Ten sites are online already, and the 11th, covering Kentucky, is scheduled to go up this week. Mr. Kushner hopes his multimillion-dollar investment -- he would not be more specific -- will attract an influential readership and, in turn, advertisers who want to reach those readers.
"Instead of taking out ads in five papers across the state, if you want to reach the most influential and politically active people, all you have to do is buy an ad package on the site," he said.
The Observer Media Group, which owns both the namesake newspaper and the Politicker brand, has kept relatively quiet about the development of the state sites. They will most likely become more prominent when a national site aggregating the local content starts within the next few weeks.
"We view this as one of the most ambitious projects right now in journalism," said Robert Sommer, the president of the Observer Media Group. "We're basically creating 50 news bureaus with full-time reporters in each state."