Tuesday, May 11, 2010

News: Outside the Pay Wall

When we look at the news feeds we receive, one stands out – The Huffington Post. It is not not The New York Times, nor is it a specialist paper, but it content is often both informative and quality.

On 9th May, 2005, Arianna Huffington launched The Huffington Post and aimed it to be the first Internet newspaper. Some 5 years later she has succeeded were many haven’t. The Post has turned its back on the 'Murdoch Pay Wall' and also on the vertical specialist approach of others. It is now in the top 10 current news and events sites, achieved some 13 million unique visitors in March, has seen a 94% user growth in the last 12 months and posted some 2.3 million comments in March. It is fast chasing the New York Times’ 16.6 million users and is now targeting the reading audience size of Yahoo News, CNN Digital Network and MSNBC Digital Network.

They recognised early that the reading audience wanted diversity in one place and created 20 sections ranging from food to books. In many ways the Huffington Post resembles the old fashioned newspaper in the range of topics covered. The content is created by some 70 reporters and editors which are complimented by 6000 unpaid bloggers and content from Associated Press. Their 'low cost, high content' formula appears to be working and they expect to be in profit later this year.

Congratulations to the Huffington Post and to your continued growth.


Brian Clegg said...

It's just a shame they consistently support magic medicine like homeopathy and the dubious antics of Andrew Wakefield.

Maxine Clarke said...

Yes, agreed Brian, the HP's posts by Joseph Kennedy on spurious autism/vaccine links have been disgraceful. Pity, as many of its content is good (eg Ann Pettifor, Jason Pinter http://jasonpinter.com/content/index.asp) But what is their quality control? Really its line on vaccines is not only disgraceful but factually wrong and insupportable, for an outfit that calls itself quality journalism (if it does aspire to that, not sure if it does or cares, it might be happy with the varied mix it publishes at present).