Thursday, 7 July 2011

Huffington Post UK Launched

Following the launch of Huffington Post Canada, Huffington Post UK launched earlier this week, the second biggest expansion outside the US for this unashamedly liberal online media site. From Arianna Huffington herself, came a gushing statement of affection for the UK, writing in her inaugural UK blog post:

"I am delighted to be in London today for the first Huffington Post launch outside of North America. Britain has always held a very special place in my heart. I started (and finished) college here. I started (and finished) my first serious love affair here.."

If you don't know Huffington yet, the site is a mix of politics, media, business, entertainment, lifestyle, green and world news and several blogs. Huffington UK promises much of the same, albeit with a domestic angle. 

For many this will be a welcome addition to UK's news market, especially in light of recent events surrounding the unethical methods employed by News of the World 'journalists' and the implications for News International on the whole, that have been such a hot topic this week. While for others, it has been met with a rather more mixed reception, with the Guardian criticising the apparent lack of invention and poor aesthetic appeal, though one can perhaps speculate that elements of rivalry and competition have had much to play in that assessment.

I'll be waiting to see how the UK version works out, but as it stands, welcome a little bit more liberal competition to UK web. In a week where we are lambasting the awful techniques employed by newspapers to feed an appetite for scandal, it is perhaps worth remembering that it is also readership and response that shapes the face of UK journalism, not just the results of official inquiries and bouts of public outrage.

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