Canadian Magazine Industry News
26 May 2011, TORONTO
Arianna Huffington talks about 'brave new world' of media
In the "brave new world" of media, self-expression has become the new form of entertainment, said the president and CEO of Huffington Post Media Group.
While the Huffington Post launched in 2005, it too had to build credibility, and that involved "no one blogging conspiracy theories". But she also played up the power of the internet and its ability to engage a large audience quickly.
That's why people spend so much time on social media networks, or choose to blog for free on HuffPost, explained Huffington at the CMA national convention in Toronto today.
The worldwide online news network, which launched in Canada today, has embraced that concept, she said during her keynote.
But although there are many online voices, readers are still turning to trusted sources for news, she said. "People are still going to a few sites they trust, that do fact-checking," she said. "It's OK to have your own set of opinions, but not facts."
She explained while HuffPost has several moderators to screen comments on stories, interactivity is encouraged. "People can offer criticism, but not attacks," she said. "The (media outlets) that engage conversation are the ones who will succeed … it's all about engagement, interactivity and premium content."
From an advertising standpoint, she said advertising dollars are moving online faster than a few years ago. "We are perfecting the ways we measure what advertisers get online," she explained, noting online advertising is becoming more creative.
With all the information flying around these days, Huffington also stressed the importance of finding "ways to disconnect and connect with ourselves," adding sleep deprivation is common. AOL, which purchased HuffPost earlier this year, has "nap rooms" for the journalists, she said. "The world is not suffering from a lack of hard work and I.Q., it's suffering from a lack of wisdom."
But she is excited for the future of online news. "It's an amazing time to be alive," she said. "This is a golden age for journalism."
— Jeff Hayward
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