AOL ACQUISITION OF HUFFPOST- A POSITIVE DEVELOPMENT?
February 7, 2011 § Leave a comment
One of the encouraging developments I spoke of in my previous column, Signs of Hope, was the rise of an authentically progressive media, so it was with some degree of optimism that I read the news today of AOL’s purchase of the Huffington Post. Now I know that many progressives out there probably let out a heaving groan upon hearing of this; we’ve seen how quickly the tide can turn in the wrong direction when news outlets become swallowed up by corporations hellbent on maximizing profits at any cost- if you’re not sure what I mean, just watch network news or examine the state of the country’s printed news outlets, for a start. But we should all be encouraged by the fact that Ariana Huffington will stay on as President and Editor-in-Chief in the new entity, which will be known as the Huffington Post Media Group and will include much of AOL’s multimedia sources.
Having listened to her over the last decade, I can unequivocally say that I can believe in Ms.Huffington. While we all know what can happen to actions based in good intention, I think she’s made this move with a view to expanding the progressive cause through more of what she’s been doing for so long: providing a perspective on news and events here in the US and around the world that may not be heard elsewhere in the mainstream. The fact that a massive corporation like AOL wants in on her brand of news and opinion, not to mention being willing to place many of its other media components under her control, only affirms what I’ve suspected for some time- that the progressive cause is a mainstream cause and there are many people ready to be persuaded by it, if given the chance.
Mainstream news has long been like the empty Presidential debates: one voice being heard with two tones, Democrat and Republican. Maybe the time has arrived during which other players are finally going to get their chance to speak on the big stage.