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The Huffington Post (often referred to as HuffPost) is an American liberal news website and aggregated blog founded by Arianna Huffington, Kenneth Lerer and Jonah Peretti, featuring various news sources and columnists. The site offers coverage of politics, media, business, entertainment, living, style, the green movement, world news, and comedy, and is a top destination for news, blogs and original content. The Huffington Post was launched on May 9, 2005, as a commentary outlet and liberal alternative to conservative news aggregators like the Drudge Report.

In 2008, the site launched its first local version, HuffPost Chicago; HuffPost New York launched in June, 2009, and HuffPo Denver launched on Sept 15, 2009. The Huffington Post has an active community, with over one million comments made on the site each month.

Contributors

In addition to columns by Arianna Huffington and a core group of contributors (such as Harry Shearer, John Conyers, Rosie O'Donnell and Roy Sekoff, Founding Editor), The Huffington Post has over 3,000 bloggers -- from politicians and celebrities to academics and policy experts -- who contribute in real-time on a wide-range of topics. Among those who have blogged on the site are Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Heather Robinson, Michael Moore, Madonna, Alec Baldwin, Norman Mailer, Saskia Sassen, Sheryl Sandberg, John Cusack, Larry David, Nora Ephron, Madeleine Albright, Robert Redford, Neil Young, Rahm Emanuel, Albert Brooks, Mia Farrow, Russ Feingold, Al Franken, Ari Emanuel, Gary Hart, Edward Kennedy, John Kerry, Nancy Pelosi, Jamie Lee Curtis, Ryan Reynolds, Craig Newmark, Donna Karan, Kenneth Cole, Donatella Versace, Bill Maher, Lutfullah Kamran, and Larry Gelbart. The Huffington Post also publishes columns by specialists in a wide range of fields such as Alice Waters on food, Suzie Heumann on sex, Diane Ravitch on education, Jacob M. Appel on ethics, and Jon LaPook on medicine.

The Huffington Post publishes scoop of current news stories, links to selected prominent news stories, and provides a liberal counterpoint to sites such as the Drudge Report. Compared to other left-wing blogs such as the expertise-heavy Znet or the long-established Daily Kos, The Huffington Post offers both news commentary and coverage. The comment section is home to discussions on politics, religion, and world affairs.

The Huffington Post's OffTheBus is a citizen-powered online news organization that is a collaboration between The Huffington Post, NYUmarker, and Jay Rosen's NewAssignment.Net. The Huffington Post's FundRace is a website that tracks contributions to the presidential campaigns and includes a mapping feature that shows contributions broken down by city, neighborhood, and block.

A comprehensive list of contributors to the The Huffington Post blog can be found in its alphabetical Bloggers Index.

Traffic statistics

According to Nielsen NetRatings, Huffington Post had 8.9 million unique visitors in February, 2009 (by way of comparison, the right-leaning Drudge Report had 3.4 million unique visitors).

The Huffington Post has 22 million unique users each month and is the most linked-to blog on the Internet.

Investment

Selected stand-alone political blogs and news sites
Site Unique Audience Sept. 2008
huffingtonpost.com 4,545,000
politico.com 2,362,000
drudgereport.com 2,059,000
Source: comScore Media Metrix


In August 2006, The Huffington Post announced that Softbank Capital would invest $5 million in the site, which had grown considerably in popularity in only a year, to help expand it. Plans included hiring more staff to update the site 24 hours a day, hiring in-house reporters, and a multimedia team to do video reports. Alan Patricof's Greycroft Partners also invested. The news marked the site's first "first round of venture capital funding."

The site now has invested in Vlogging, or video blogging, with many of the site contributors contributing via video, and capturing clips in the media and posting them on the site.

In November 2008, The Huffington Post completed a $15 million fundraising from investors. The money will finance expansion including more investigative journalism and the provision of local news across the United States.

Awards

  • The HuffingtonPost.com was named among the 25 Best Blogs of 2009 by Time Magazine.
  • The Huffington Post won the 2006 and 2007 Webby Awards for Best Politics Blog.
  • Huffington Post contributor Bennet Kelley was awarded the Los Angeles Press Club's 2007 Southern California Journalism Award for Online Commentary for political commentary published on the site.
  • The Huffington Post is ranked the most powerful blog in the world by The Observer.
  • Huffington Post co-founder Arianna Huffington was named as number 12 in Forbes' first ever list of the Most Influential Women In Media in 2009. She has also moved up to number 42 in the Guardian's Top 100 in Media List.


Controversies, errors, and questioning sources

  • In mid-February 2008, after former First Lady Nancy Reagan fell at her California home, negative comments about the then-86-year-old former first lady were posted in the public comment section of the website by members of the public. Bill O'Reilly of Fox News opined, "Apparently, Arianna Huffington, the woman who runs the site, has mixed views on publishing hate speech. Ms. Huffington has the power to remove this trash immediately, but she chooses not to." Arianna Huffington said that hateful comments are not tolerated and are taken down as soon as they come to the attention of the blog's moderators.


  • The Huffington Post inadvertently linked to an altered YouTube video clip of John Gibson, which voiced over Gibson's voice. The video was altered by John Sanders, the technology reporter at WBAL-TVmarker, who was later fired.




References

  1. The Debut of Huffington Post Denver
  2. Huffington Post Google Analytics
  3. Softbank Capital invests $5 mln in Huffington Post, Reuters, August 7, 2006. Retrieved October 18, 2006.
  4. Business big shot: Arianna Huffington, online entrepreneur The Times November 21, 2008
  5. 49th Southern California Journalism Award Winners
  6. Huffington Post page for Bennet Kelley.
  7. Bill O'Reilly Needs to Enroll in "Understanding the Internet 101"
  8. WBAL-TV fires reporter over prank
  9. simon Owens: Science bloggers challenge credibility of Huffington Post “wellness” editor
  10. Steven Novella: The Huffington Post’s War On Science


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