House of Cards’ Slugline: A Techie Journo’s Dream?

Finally curious enough to see for myself what the fuss is over “House of Cards,” I turned on Netflix and queued up the first episode of Season 1 yesterday.

Seven episodes later, I’m starting to get why this online-only series has people hooked.

Spoiler alert: Kate Mara’s character, journalist Zoe Barnes, leaves her job at print-focused publication The Washington Herald for a gig at a budding political blog.

As she explains it in the series, “Six months from now, Slugline will be what Politico was a year and a half ago. Everyone at Politico reads it because Slugline’s breaking stories before they are.”

One can imagine how such an outfit would pique the ears of techie journos. Slugline sounds like a cross between Politico, Gawker and Tumblr. Julie Moos explored the idea of Slugline for Poynter:

“House of Cards” is primarily about politics – old-style power and manipulation in the capital – but it’s also about journalism, and how the new replaces the old, over and over. … Showrunner Beau Willimon explains the name Slugline by email: “‘Slug’ is a journalistic term with play on deadline. Also the ‘slug’ is what you call the locale and time of a scene in a screenplay, I.e. INT – OVAL OFFICE – DAY. And finally, we like the pugilistic connotation of slug as in I slugged him in the face.”


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