Monday, February 7, 2011

AOL/ Huffington Post Merger

Last night the Huffington Post was bought by AOL. But what is this going to mean for the future of journalism? Will one of the most visited independent sites sill retain it's bravado? Is it even possible to still be considered or called independent with a corporate backing?

The Boston Globe reported AOL has set a plan for creating traffic to their site:

* AOL tells its editors to decide what topics to cover based on four considerations: traffic potential, revenue potential, edit quality and turn-around time.
* AOL asks its editors to decide whether to produce content based on "the profitability consideration."
* The documents reveal that AOL is, when the story calls for it, willing to boost traffic by 5 to 10% with search ads and other "paid media."
* AOL site leaders are expected to have eight ideas for packages that could generate at least $1 million in revenue on hand at all times.
* In-house AOL staffers are expected to write five to 10 stories per day.
* AOL knows its sites are too dependent on traffic from, and it wants its editors to fix the problem by posting more frequently, with more emphasis on getting page-views.

As The Boston Globe points out, AOL is does not appear to be concerned about journalistic integrity or values the Huffington Post has. In this odd merger of corporation and independent media outlet and it is yet to be seen what will come of their partnership. We can only hope for the best. 

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