Launched in 2005 as an online news platform, The Huffington Post was initially known for blogging and real-time news aggregation, providing a liberal outlook on the political landscape. The site now has 200 million unique monthly visitors and 100,000 contributors from politicians to celebrities and policy experts. The Duchess of Cambridge even featured as a guest editor earlier this year.
A turning point for the site, and for online media, came in 2012 when HuffPost contributor, David Wood, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting, making HuffPost the first commercially run US digital media enterprise to achieve this recognition. It sparked fierce debate in the wider media, which questioned the legitimacy of the site as a credible news outlet.
The woman behind the brand, Arianna Huffington, argued the accolade not only celebrated Wood’s “exemplary journalism” but her website’s “commitment to original reporting that affects both the national conversation and the lives of real people.”
Today, HuffPost publishes new content every day on subjects from politics to wellness, across 16 international editions. Huffington’s clear vision is to “build the leading global open platform and publisher, using every available tool and platform to inform, inspire, entertain and empower”.
Born in Greece in 1950, Huffington moved to the UK in 1966. She became a bestselling author at 23 with The Female Woman, and in 1994, entered the US spotlight as wife of Republican Michael Huffington during his unsuccessful Senate bid. In 2011, AOL acquired The Huffington Post for US$315m, with Huffington becoming editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post Media Group.
Despite unprecedented success, Huffington experienced her own turning point in 2007, when she fainted from sleep-deprivation and exhaustion, hit her head on a desk, and broke her cheekbone. This “painful wake-up call”, as she terms it, prompted her to focus on her own wellbeing and incited a desire to create boundaries and routines – starting by making sure she gets enough sleep…