The Huffington Post is coming to Miami. As reported by Adweek, the Left-leaning (-falling) news, opinion, and aggregation website co-founded by Arianna Huffington will add our fair city to its local section, which currently includes New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, and Denver.
What does this mean for a media-starved metropolis like Miami? A glance at HuffPo’s existing local sections indicates that we can expect a regular helping of sensational headlines (“Public School Sex Ed Class Could Inform On Oral Sex And Bestiality”); a steady supply of fodder for Liberal dinner parties, both pandering (“Occupy Hollywood: Why It’s Time To Call Out High-Earning Celebrities”) and inciting (“Occupy Wall Street Should De-Occupy, and Immediately”); a fair share of “Who cares?” celebrity stories (“Church Of Scientology Investigated ‘South Park’ Creators”); and a smattering of genuine local news — mostly aggregated from elsewhere and mostly clocking in at fewer than seven paragraphs.
However well grounded, this is speculation until HuffPo Miami launches as expected sometime in November. Until then, here is what several local media-ites have to say about HP’s imminent arrival in the Magic City (in italics), starting with …
Miami Herald managing editor Rick Hirsch
It’s a dynamic time for all of us in media, with a range of new voices in the digital space. I think the diversity of those voices adds to the news and perspectives available. I expect Huffington Post will bring a lively product here. I’m excited about it. Competition makes everyone work harder.
Here is a short Q&A with Miami New Times web editor Jose Duran.
What are your thoughts on Huffington Post launching a Miami site?
I think it all depends on its approach. Many have tried to launch local sites and most, if not all, have failed. Miami is a difficult market to conquer due to language barriers and its transient population. And if HuffPo is aiming to do content farming, well, count on it being DOA.
Do you think that they’ll be your competition?
No. Call me naive if you want, but I think our brand is strong enough in this city. People know what to expect from us and the way we deliver the local news — which more often than not deserves the ridicule we throw its way.
Anything else you want to add?
Welcome to Miami, HuffPo. Here’s your complimentary guayabera and mojito.
Next up: Rick, the mystery man behind the South Florida Daily Blog.
I see [the Huffington Post] as occupying a space somewhere between the “alternative” nature of the Miami New Times and the stodginess and traditionalism of the Herald. Although, it looks like they’re going to rely a lot on other sources of news for their feature stories, I believe what is going to set them apart is their blog commentaries and their political coverage. It will be extremely interesting to see who they’re able to enlist to write their editorials and commentary as their national horsepower might be an incentive for some high-profile people and local celebrities who would otherwise balk at sharing their opinions. I’m of “the more, the merrier” mindset, so I think this is a positive for news consumers in South Florida. Rather than threatening or encroaching on established news outlets in South Florida, I see it as a solid supplement.
Last but not least: Bill Cooke, who blogs politics at Random Pixels and Loose Talk.
[H]ow can HuffPost’s entry into Miami be a bad thing? After all, it was just bought by AOL for $315 million. That’s $115 million more than a Malaysian gaming company recently paid for the Miami Herald property. Surely, a company worth that much will be paying good money to hire top notch local bloggers with a knowledge of Miami.
Miami is in dire need of new sources of information. With one daily newspaper that keeps losing talent through job cuts and resignations, the news that Miami might be getting a new voice is encouraging. However, it remains to be seen just how much of HuffPost Miami’s content will be original and how much will be lifted from local blogs … Am I rolling out the welcome mat for HuffPost Miami? Right now, I’m adopting a wait and see attitude.
Enough shop talk. What do you think about the imminent launch of www.huffingtonpost.com/miami (currently password-protected)? Let us know in a comment.