The Huffington Post has made far-reaching changes to its blogging policies, with contrasting rules being put in place at each side of the Atlantic.
Since 2005, the news site has accepted blogger submissions, helping grow its community with it serving as a platform for debate. As Polly Curtis, editor-in-chief of HuffPost UK said on the blog: “HuffPost UK’s blogging platform is at the heart of our mission to amplify people’s voices and stir debate about the issues we most care about.”
The HuffPost will accept fewer, higher quality submissions, a move that will now reportedly enable it to pay its contributors. On this Curtis said: "Before I became editor-in chief four months ago, I thought about this very carefully. I have been a journalist all my career and I could never edit a news publication that exploited journalists – or anyone else for that matter.
Curtis blamed changes in the media landscape for her decision to “publish only the very best of the submissions,” now that there are “so many places people can write unedited on the internet”.
Blogs will have to meet an audience interest test. Furthermore, bloggers who are commerciality invested in the product or experience they are writing about will not be accepted. Curtis’ example was “those who use their access to the blogs to blag holidays or products”.
UK submissions were reportedly always given a “cursory” edit and checked for legal issues. This was not the case in the US. Lydia Polgreen, the international editor-in-chief of HuffPost US has closed the blogging platform in the states, which was an “unregulated, unedited and unrefined stream of noise” according to Curtis. It was launched in 2005 when Facebook was one year old, contextualising the early build of the internet it was purpose built for.
“But the fact is this has never been the case. HuffPost UK has always done two separate things: produced revelatory, original journalism; and provided a platform for ideas.”
The new platform will look to be “desirable place to share ideas, expertise and people’s real, live experiences”.
Since being bought up by Oath, the publication is looking to again find its place in the media ecosystem. It boasts a monthly audience of monthly of 200m, a longshot from its original community of passionate bloggers.