“I would take a different approach, personally, as a journalist,” Polgreen said at Recode’s Code Media conference.
In 2015, Huffington Post Editor in Chief Arianna Huffington decided the publication would cover President Donald Trump’s campaign as entertainment — the company later went back on that.
The new editor in chief, Lydia Polgreen, said she wouldn’t have done that in the first place. In fact, she wants to reach audiences that include Trump voters.
“I would take a different approach, personally, as a journalist,” Polgreen, who spoke at the Code Media conference in Huntington Beach, Calif., said. “For me, it’s less about who you voted for and more about where you stand in the overall political and economic power arrangements.”
“I think that we live in a world where inequality is deepening and there is a top layer of society that includes pretty much all of us in this room who have kind of detached in an escape pod and are floating away with the American dream,” she continued. “I really think about that bottom 80 percent as including a lot of people who voted for Trump, a lot of people who voted for Bernie Sanders and a lot of people who voted for Hillary. But primarily they’re people who feel left out of the prevailing political and economic power arrangement.”
Polgreen used TheSkimm as an example of a publication that was doing a good job of reaching a wider audience that she feels is underserved by news organizations.
“We need to be focused on issues that affect people’s lives and write about them in really relevant ways to people’s experiences” she said. “It’s not just about covering Trump and covering the Trump administration. It’s not just about who’s going to win in 2018 — although those stories are really important.
“It’s less about ‘this is the style of story we’re going to do’ and more about about ‘this is the kind of relationship we’re going to have with our audience,’” she continued. “And it’s fundamentally one of service.”
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