The HuffPost Streaming Network will launch this summer and feature original programming and debates, produced from studios in New York and Los Angeles. Editor-in-chief Arianna Huffington said the project would launch with 12 hours of daily programming and would eventually go to 24 hours.
The Huffington Post is launching in the UK at the perfect time, says Alastair Campbell.
Speaking at Millbank Tower on a panel for the official launch event, Campbell said the British public are facing up to what newspapers have become – positioning Arianna Huffington’s news website in the perfect place to cause disruption.
Newspapers in this country are going further and further down the barrel until they reach the bottom, like the Sun. We’ll still have newspapers in future, there’ll just be fewer of them.
The panel (moderated by Richard Bacon) comprised of HuffPost founder Arianna Huffington, Kelly Osbourne, Jon Gaunt, Celia Walden and Shami Chakrabarti. Key themes that emerged throughout the debate were phone hacking, superinjunctions, the public perception of journalism and the issue of trust.
Huffington responded to claims from Toby Young that the launch was ill-timed by saying the website has “a phenomenal reach”, and its social nature would set it apart from other more well established UK sites.
Huffington Post is a combination of constant updates. It’s not about sitting on the couch and passively consuming, it’s about constantly passing on information, sharing and liking.
We employ 1,300 journalists, editors and reporters, but ulimately Huffington Post is a platform for our 9,000 bloggers. We promote linking, original reporting and making information available, people blog for us because they can use our huge audience and because they have something to say.
Jon Gaunt agreed with this, saying Huffington endeared herself to her bloggers by making her website very open. But he also criticised many newspapers’ forays into digital journalism.
Lots of newspaper websites are useless, because they’re made and look like newspapers. They’re created by people who’ve worked in newspapers their whole lives, and look terrible.
One thing the panel agreed on was the issue of trust and the role it would play in the future development of journalism. Summing up, Campbell said:
The single most important piece of communication regarding the death of Osama Bin Laden was still Barack Obama’s words, despite the thousands of articles written about the event.
Politicians still have ability to set the agenda, but people don’t trust politicians, journalists or economists – we still trust each other.
That’s why social news works – we talk to people we trust.
Politico is reporting that two democratic consultants have accused Arianna Huffington of stealing their idea for the Huffington Post.
Peter Daou and James Boyce charge that Huffington and partner Ken Lerer designed the website from a plan they had presented them, and in doing so, violated a handshake agreement to work together, according to a lawsuit to be filed in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan.
Huffington has told Politico that the charge of stolen ideas is “a completely absurd, ludicrous supposition” from two men who she had rejected going into business with or hiring six years ago.
Starting this week, the editor’s blog will feature an afternoon roundup of all things media from over the pond. From the hugely important to the very inconsequential, check in for a choice ofAmerica’s journalistic goings on.
NYT explore new avenues with another hyperlocal blog
The new blog, which will report on New York’s East Village, will come under the Times’ URL but be developed and launched by students from the NYU Studio 20 Journalism Masters programme.
Two NY hyperlocals were launched by the paper last year under a channel called ‘The Local’. One covers Clinton Hill and Fort Greene in Brooklyn, the other Maplewood, Millburn and South Orange in New Jersey. Those blogs featured student contributions from the start, but were helmed by Times staff (although the former was recently turned over to students from CUNY). The new East Village blog is edited by a Times staffer but will be largely overseen, from inception to launch, by NYU students.
Jessica Roy, blogger at NYULocal and member of the East Village project said:
While the site will function in a similar way to the hyperlocal sites the Times already has running in Ft. Greene/Clinton Hill and Maplewood, this will be the first time journalism students will be heavily involved in the site’s content and design process before the launch.
But Arianna is not, apparently, just trying to recapture a youth she threw away on “promise, passion, intellectual curiosity, and vitality”. She is referring to the launch of HuffPost College, a new section of the Huffington Post devoted to the promising, passionate, intellectually curious, and vital students out there, and presumably to the billions of normal students too.
Edited by Jose Antonio Vargas, our Tech and Innovations editor, with the help of Leah Finnegan, a recent graduate of the University of Texas and the former editor of the Daily Texan, HuffPost College is designed to be a virtual hub for college life, bringing you original and cross-posted material from a growing list of college newspapers.
“Announcing HuffPost College: No SAT scores or admission essays needed” reads Arianna’s headline.
Here is John Horrigan, who oversaw the survey for the FCC, making the findings sound impressively grotesque:
Overall internet penetration has been steady in the mid-70 to upper 70 per cent range over the last five years. Now we’re at a point where, if you want broadband adoption to go up by any significant measure, you really have to start to eat into the segment of non-internet-users.
Fortunately for Arianna Huffington, those remaining blissfully un-penetrated (albeit in danger of being eaten into by hungry internet providers) are “disproportionately older and more likely to live in rural areas”, and not the vigourous youth, who are probably desperate to spend their time out of college at home reading about college.
Shatner to play Twitterer
One elderly American well in tune with all things online is Justin Halpern’s dad. Even if he doesn’t quite get why. Justin Halpern’s dad is the man behind Justin Halpern’s Twitter account, “Shit My Dad Says.” Although this is slightly old story already, news that William Shatner will be playing an curmudgeonly, 74 year-old man whose live-in 29 year-old son tweets “shit that he says” is too ridiculous to pass up. If CBS are in luck, the account’s 1,187,371 followers, and many more, will tune in to hear William Shatner say this:
A parent’s only as good as their dumbest kid. If one wins a Nobel Prize but the other gets robbed by a hooker, you failed.
And many, many other 140-character pearls of wisdom far too rude for the very mild-mannered Journalism.co.uk. I for one prefer Justin Halpern’s dad’s personal choice of James Earl Jones, and applaud his straight talking response to suggestions that colour is an issue.
He wanted James Earl Jones to play him. I was like, ‘But you’re white.’ He was like, ‘Well, we don’t have to be! Who gives a [censored]? You asked me who I thought, and that’s who I think.’
Who could possibly resist the powerful combination of Halpern Snr’s coarse tweets and Darth Vader’s husky voice?
Largest YouTube content provider reaches 1 billion views
One million followers is an impressive landmark in the Twitterverse, it puts you up there in the Twittersphere with such luminaries as Stephen Fry and Ashton Kutcher. It’s about 28,000 times as many as I have. Demand Media went a thousand times better than that though in YouTube terms yesterday, with its billionth view.
According to its site, the company, which has about 500 staff and is based in Santa Monica, provides “social media solutions that consumers really want”. Demand is the largest content supplier to YouTube, owning around 170,000 videos available on the site.
Google Buzz might be the talk of the social media town right now, but Huffington Post is concentrating on Yahoo, with the launch of its new app for HuffPost Social News. Arianna Huffington writes:
We’ve also made it so you can now use your Yahoo! ID to quickly sign in to HuffPost, and to join HuffPost Social News so you can easily link up with your friends from Yahoo! who are also part of the HuffPost community. Want to check out what they are reading or make sure you see their latest comment? Log onto HuffPost Social News using Yahoo! and that happens automatically. And when you write a comment, you can, with one click, share it with your Yahoo! friends and contacts – just like you can share to Facebook or via Twitter.
“So now sites that aggregate the news have become, in the words of Rupert Murdoch and his team, ‘parasites,’ ‘content kleptomaniacs,’ ‘vampires,’ ‘tech tapeworms in the intestines of the internets,’ and, of course, thieves who ‘steal all our copyright.’
“It’s the news industry equivalent of ‘your mama wears army boots!’ Although, not quite as persuasive.
“In most industries, if your customers were leaving in droves, you would try to figure out what to do to get them back. Not in the media. They’d rather accuse aggregators of stealing their content.”
Tom Curley may be ‘pleased to have’ HuffPo as an AP subscriber, but he’s adamant that’s it’s time to get a ‘fair deal’ from the people who don’t have licences.
Huffington talks about Jeff Jarvis’ ‘link economy’ theory and focuses on how you monetise journalism today. “Of course you have to monetise your content, as Tom has been saying: but how do you do it?” she asks. “But are you going to do it by creating walled gardens, which is not going to work?”
“It’s not going to work because consumer habits have changed,” she says.
“Any model which creates walls is not going to work,” says Huffington. If you try ‘to just put your finger in the dike and stop happening what’s happening from happening you’re going to lose precious time,’ she adds.
‘Ride the rapids’ and find new ways to reach the consumer, she advises.
Gawker.com makes a dig at HuffingtonPost’s recruitment method. It says that ‘Off the Bus’ HuffingtonPost’s much lauded citizen journalism project (with 12,000 citizen journalists recruited), has been allowed to ‘stagnate’, and will be now handed over to founder Arianna Huffington’s godson, Matthew Palvesky, and to former Off the Bus intern, Gabriel Beltrone, according to an internal e-mail, re-published by the gossip site. Full story…