Monday, March 30, 2009

arianna steps up

Huffington Post announced yesterday that it is launching an investigative journalism project, similar to ProPublica, that will be funded by several philanthropic entities. The initial budget of $1.75 million "should be enough for 10 staff journalists who will primarily coordinate stories with freelancers, said Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor-in-chief."

Stories produced by the project would be available for free to any news media once the pieces have been posted on HuffPo.

From the article:

Huffington said she hoped to encourage others to fund similar ventures. Foundation spending to support journalists is a promising trend, although the money set aside for such ventures represents far less than what a newspaper would spend to thoroughly cover a community, said Tom Rosenstiel, director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism.

Foundation-based journalism will also require organizations to prove that situations are being looked at with a truly open mind, a larger burden than that faced by newspapers, he said.

The Huffington Post skews liberal, but its founder promised that the work done by the investigative fund would be nonpartisan. The group would be discredited quickly if it puts out faulty information, said Nick Penniman, the fund's executive director.

"We care about democracy, not Democrats," he said.

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