Arianna Huffington Tells Students, Audience Economic Crisis is Threat to Democracy

September 16, 2010

Arianna Huffington's talk, "The New Media Landscape," was a tour through a world that the founder of The Huffington Post herself reshaped. She launched the blog-centered Huffington Post in 2005 in part as a counterweight to aggregation sites such as the Drudge Report.

"The question of where you go for your news is really a question of trust," Huffington said, speaking with Bradlee Professor of Government Thomas Patterson. Her stated goal was to create a community that allowed individuals to "have a civil discourse" in public.

Huffington is clearly proud of what she and the site have accomplished in just five years: "45 million unique visitors a month," she said; 10,000 bloggers, 3.5 million comments a month, 190 full-time staff, and 30 reporters and editors. "We're constantly hiring more," she said. They recently launched the Huffington Post Investigative Fund, which also breaks stories — "though not all of the Watergate kind," she joked.

Asked by Patterson about the key policy suggestions contained in her latest book, Huffington emphasized the big picture: "We as members of the community need to be engaged in the solutions. Beyond left and right." She chose a jarring title for the book "to sound the alarm," she said, about the rising unemployment and poverty in the United States as well as the country's crumbling infrastructure.

Read the full story on the Shorenstein Center website.

Arianna Huffington

Arianna Huffington spoke on "The New Media Landscape" at the Shorenstein Center. Photo credit, Janell Sims/Shorenstein Center.

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