Huffington Post takes on the media

Is Arianna going to huff and puff and blow the traditional media down? According to the New York Times (reg. required), the Huffington Post blog network is getting into the journalism business in a big way. The site only started 18 months ago but has become a serious online player, with 2.3 million unique visitors a month — more than some mainstream newspaper websites.

Huffington says it has hired Melinda Henneberger, a former New York Times reporter and Newsweek staffer, as its political editor, and plans to hire “a number” of other journalists to help it produce online journalism “with attitude.” The Post is already doing something along those lines with its Eat The Press feature, whose editor Rachel Sklar is a Canadian transplant.

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This is obviously what Huffington has planned for the $5-million in financing the site got from Softbank Capital earlier this year (it also has funding from Greycroft Partners, backers of Rafat Ali’s online media shop, PaidContent). Arianna said she will be hiring investigative journalists and reporters with video expertise. They will travel, have deadlines and (gasp!) get paid, just like “real” journalists.

Coincidentally, there’s been a lot of talk over the past few days about Kevin Maney’s recent piece for USA Today about what to do with newspapers — which my friend and former journalist Mark Evans discusses here. In my view, newspapers had better get their running shoes on, because online media like Huffington Post and PaidContent are already halfway down the track.

Update:

As Jeff Jarvis notes, this announcement comes just over a week after two senior journalists left the Washington Post to join an online media startup that plans to focus on multi-platform political reporting.

5 thoughts on “Huffington Post takes on the media

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  3. With Blogger VLogger. there is always the rogue effect. Remember Kevin Sites breaking the 301 dogs of war episode.. its become an embrassment to US?DOJ and in general America..

    MSM are always propped by either the right wing or the left wing. blues or reds.. whichever way you take it. even Huffinngton hasto make opinion and take a stand. Which side they are on is irrelvant as long as that side is top side. The moment the scales tip, is then you will see the true shift in integrity.

    Yes, why, thats because shifts in perception and alignment is a game in terms of being part of the generic MSM type of content creator.

    As an indivdual your still toast.. think about it.. in your current positioning. if you write something a political that goes against the grain, you will take heat… likewise if heat is coming your way, then the tone changes in a subtle way to sustain surviving.. !!

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  5. Increasing the resources devoted to original reporting and journalism online is, on the face of it, a good thing.
    Relevant to /pd’s comment, though, is the agenda issue. Money may be just a tool, but those who wield it almost always have political agendas, and those of main stream media are mostly left, not right. Those agendas in particular have greatly influenced general opinion for several generations now. It is that mute, subversive, and unacknowledged steering of opinion that endangers the individual voice the most. Call me a hopeless optimist, /pd, but I also believe that the individual voice hasn’t drowned here, and won’t in future.
    Vera

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