Sunday, July 17, 2011

Huffington and Armstrong on New Media at National Press Club

Arianna Huffington

by contributor Marana Moore

Arianna Huffington was serenaded by a hundred or so members of the DC media at the National Press Club on Friday, July 15th.   After a rousing chorus of “Happy Birthday”, Huffington’s good-natured, tongue-in-cheek statement that there was no way that she’d rather spend her birthday than with a room full of Washington DC journalists evoked hearty laughter.  

Guests tucked into a savory luncheon while enjoying an interesting commentary from Huffington on media in general being in an “incredible state of transition”. The comments are particularly salient in the face of some of the acutely felt furor between the ranks of “traditional media” and those of “new media”, now that members of “new media” are frequently the forerunners in breaking stories and thus playing a much more central role.  
While taking great care to note that Huffington Post has nothing but respect for traditional media--highlighting the recent retention of several well respected journalists to augment their ranks--Arianna went on to say that the argument of old versus new media is “old fashioned” and “incredibly irrelevant”.

Huffington then sited some of the ways that new media has forever altered the face of society and in some cases effects big changes by “doing what new media does best, which is obsessively staying on a story”.  

Tim Armstrong and Marana Moore          Photo by Robert Devaney

Huffington was joined by AOL CEO Tim Armstrong, who followed her comments by reiterating the idea that journalism is, and will continue to be, inevitably redefined by technology--asking the question, “What is journalism to 4 million people with smart phones?”