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Huffington Post Editor-in-Chief Inspires Overflow Audience at IC

Written by Meghan Swope

Arianna Huffington, speaking before a packed audience at IC. Photo by Martha Pace '12

One Tuesday early this month Arianna Huffington wrote a blog post at 1:15 a.m. about how President Obama has progressed from having the “audacity to win” to the “timidity to govern.” By the time she arrived at Ithaca College later that afternoon, that blog post had received more than 3,500 comments.

Slideshow best if viewed in full screen. Photos by Martha Pace '12

It’s just another (busy) day in the life of Huffington, the cofounder and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post. She is also a nationally syndicated columnist who has penned twelve books. She once ran for governor of California. She is the cohost of Left, Right & Center, a popular political radio show, and she’s known for her guest appearances on numerous news programs and talk shows.

Arianna Huffington talks about blogging with Jon Stewart on The Daily Show.

In four and a half years, she’s watched the Huffington Post grow from a new gathering place for 500 trusted bloggers to what is now one of the most widely read and linked-to sites online today.

The Huffington Post now has about 3,000 bloggers and receives hundreds of additional submissions daily.

However, when Huffington takes the stage in front of hundreds crowded into Emerson Suites to give a speech as part of the Park Distinguished Visitor Series, she seems more like your best friend’s mom than the fiery Greek-born commentator you’ve seen on talk shows.

She’s genuine, down-to-earth, and funny. She reveals that two of her greatest passions are cheese and sleep. Perhaps best of all, she believes that there’s a future in journalism.

She is optimistic that we are entering a golden age of journalism, and that new media will become even more important than it is today.

She believes that facts are sacred and refuses to allow conspiracy theories to find their way onto the Huffington Post.

She acknowledges the increasingly voyeuristic nature of mainstream journalism, but she is a firm believer that as a news consumer you have the power to choose what media coverage matters to you.

She repeatedly mentions that she would love to continue the conversations started here in Ithaca by e-mail, Facebook, or blog. She says that the majority of staff members at the Huffington Post are in their twenties and encourages current students to apply for these jobs.

She believes the future of journalism lies with us, and she wants to motivate future bloggers to find their passion and pursue it in their writing.

As I left the room, it was hard not to feel inspired, and many of my fellow students felt the same.

“In an era where we are constantly told that print journalism is dying and jobs are dwindling, it was refreshing to hear that journalism is evolving with new technologies,” says Mary Michalow ’10.

“It’s good to hear that the future of online and independent media is stronger than ever.”



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