Arianna Huffington, founder of Huffington Post, told an audience of Canadian media executives they should expand their digital presence, rather than treat it “as a stepchild,” a move which has been detrimental to US media organizations in the past.
“If you have a story, print it,” Ms. Huffington told her audience of Quebec media companies at their annual convention this past week, the Canadian Press reports. She added today’s world expects real-time information provided by online news.
Huffington’s speech was followed by a Q&A session. She told the audience companies need not fear a strong online presence. “Promiscuity may not be good in a relationship but it’s good online,” she continued.
During her presentation, Huffington noted online communication has become an essential part of being connected with one another, as people seek avenues for achieving success and personal happiness. She referenced the millions of online comments as an example.
Smart media organizations, according to Huffington, should not just put up pretty sites, but must make them engaging by producing solid content along with good writing and editing. “If it doesn’t encourage engagement, it belongs in the past,” she noted.
However, Huffington added digital media companies can use traditional news organizations to their advantage by providing accuracy and fairness in reporting, while conducting careful fact-checking.
HuffPo, with nearly 25 million unique monthly visitors, was sold earlier this year to AOL for $315 million. The merger was expected to reach 117 million Americans and a global audience of 270 million.
Earlier this year, Huffington launched Huffington Post Canada and followed that with a UK version. Additional expansions are planned for Brazil, France, Spain and Quebec.
Ms. Huffington was named to Time Magazine’s Time 100, a list of the world’s 100 most influential people, in 2006 and again in 2011.