Huffington advocates for impact journalism

Influential website founder Arianna Huffington advocated for impact journalism and called on the media (old and new) to be accountable during a speech in Toronto, Jan. 26, sponsored by The Toronto Star as part of Advertising Week.

The Huffington Post is a news website and aggregated blog founded in 2005 that boasts millions of unique visitors every month.

The old way is to tell both sides of the story, she said of journalism. But for topics such as climate change, she said including both the skeptics and the environmentalists “isn’t objectivity, it’s stupidity.”

Hammering away on one issue is easier to do online, she said. “We in the new media suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder.” Staying on a story and covering it thoroughly is better than reporting after the fact, she said. “We need to get better at biopsies rather than autopsies.”

The public is approaching news in different ways now, said Huffington. “People don’t just consume news, they share news,” she said. “Self expression has become the new entertainment.”

She ended on an optimistic note with comments that editors provide a valuable filter to identify what’s worthwhile. “The more information that is out there, the more important editors become.”