Once Beyonce asked: «Who run the world?» and the answer was «Girls». That’s especially right for Arianna Huffington. She ran her own digital world – The Huffington Post. And she left it this month. Now we can look back on the era of Arianna Huffington which lasted more than 10 years and assess all that she’s done. On one end of the scale are undeniable achievements and innovation of digital journalism. On the other end – obvious shortcomings and imperfections of HuffPost’s system. Let’s see which one is heavier.

 

The breakthrough in digital journalism

Arianna Huffington, Kenneth Lerer and Andrew Breitbart lunched Huffington Post in 2005. The developers positioned the site as a platform for liberal and alternative opinion. HuffPost appeared in media as a bold fearless pathbreaker: it was never a big deal for Arianna Huffington to provide the audience with provocative and pressing content. Since the very beginning of its existence HuffPost has gained an enormous amount of readers and still remains the most visitable news site

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Huffington found a key aspect of information submission which shot immediately – it was all about news coverage. In HuffPost politics is always filed with entertaining and sometimes sarcastic inclination. For instance, recently the editors admitted that HuffPost doesn’t coverage Donald Trump in political sections, news about him appears only in Entertainment section. And that’s the rule, according to the Editorial Director Danny Shea: «Instead, we will cover his campaign as part of our Entertainment section. Our reason is simple: Trump’s campaign is a sideshow. We won’t take the bait.» But HuffPost never chains itself only with easy spree content, investigative serious materials can also be found on the site. Hopefully it won’t be any mistake to say that the huge article «Mothers of ISIS» was one of the best things to read on HuffPost. It was also a good decision of Huffington to hire some professional famous journalists from The New York Times who were able to make such quality materials. But nevertheless, taking into account all successful efforts, HuffPost shows its weak parts.

 

You can find everything and learn nothing

The first problem about HuffPost which comes to mind when open the site is too broad information sphere. It seems like HuffPost has no strict plan and never screens news. 60 sections under the banner speak for themselves. And it’s not hard to guess that such amount of content updated regularly cannot be extremely useful and quality. In the era of digital media and countless content choices it’s more wisely to concentrate on certain topics and be the best in this area. Therefore, it’s not very likely to get an unique content on HuffPost: you can only get a little bit of everything. For this reason Ben Winkler, chief investment officer at OMD called HuffPost a portal: “Portals have been replaced by social platforms. If a consumer is looking for a broad swath of news, they look at social platforms.”

 

HuffPost cannot keep up with the development of digital media

To keep up with the future you always need to create something new. But HuffPost hasn’t changed and innovated lately. In 2012 were launched Huffington magazine and HuffPost live, but both finally didn’t take off. The strategy of native ads that HuffPost offers for its clients hasn’t changed in 3 years either. Other publishers show much more creativity. The situation is getting even worse as other platforms, such as LinkedIn, Medium has copied the HuffPost’s strategy and it’s no longer special. As for spree content, the audience is more likely to get it on Buzzfeed, not on HuffPost.

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What awaits HuffPost after Arianna Huffington stepping down?

HuffPost started as an independent company, but last year it became a part of Verizon which now is buying Yahoo. It means that HuffPost now has to cooperate with Yahoo and it can affect the content. That may cause some problems in changing directions though they are badly necessary.

Nevertheless, Huffington’s leaving and getting a new editor is a great chance to turn HuffPost into the big digital course. As the new century never waits, HuffPost has to haste to reach it.

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