Monday, February 7, 2011

CJR: "Will HuffProse Infect AOL? (The politics of the Huffington Post/AOL merger)"

From the Columbia Journalism Review's Campaign Desk blog:

The announcement that AOL will acquire the Huffington Post, and that Arianna Huffiington will take control of all AOL content as president and editor-in-chief of the coming Huffington Post Media Group, is not boding well for Melinda Henneberger’s not-yet-two-year-old Politics Daily. Among the icons on a graphic depicting the merger and headlining the Huffington Post today—HuffPo verticles among AOL brands like TechCruch, Patch, PopQuest—Politics Daily is conspicuously, if unsurprisingly, missing. That prominent icon you can see—Huffpost Politics—might have just swallowed it.

Jeremy W. Peters at the Times is hearing unconfirmed reports that this is indeed the AOL site’s fate: “…news Web sites like Politics Daily and Daily Finance are likely to disappear when the deal is completed, and many of the writers who work for those sites will become Huffington Post writers, according to people with knowledge of the deal, who asked not to be identified discussing plans that are still being worked out.” Politics Daily’s own report on the merger is a straight news piece sans any naval-gazing about its own place in today’s hubbub.

The question then is: Will the newly moved Politics Daily’s straight-news reporters and ideologically-mixed pundits be forced to now write in HuffProse—the generally liberal-leaning newsflashes of “bashings” and “blastings,” and scathing anti-right op-eds that proliferate on Arianna’s website? Or will the famously ideological pundit, editor, and author keep things ideologically clean, as she is promising?...MORE