It was announced yesterday that popular liberal blog The Huffington Post will begin sponsoring a team of investigative journalists. According the report, it will be a joint project between HuffPo and The Atlantic Philanthropies, a self-identified “progessive” philanthropic organization. According to the AP, the organizations will jointly spend $1.75 million to fund the project. Arianna Huffington, the blog’s founder, said she wants to keep journalists working in the tough climate journalism is in. For more analysis, the Guardian has a take on the new venture.
Obviously, this is an exciting development in the world of blogs. So far, we have seen blogs used as little more than vehicles of partisan sniping (though we have established that there are exceptions, too). This new blog could be something that helps change that, inspiring other blogs to (at least try to) do some digging themselves as they compete for site views.
The one thing that raises a potential red flag is that both HuffPo and The Atlantic Philanthropies are politically inclined organizations, and that inclination is very clearly liberal. Though it has never stopped The Huffington Post from breaking news that shines a negative light on Democrats or liberals (then- Sen. Obama’s “bitter” comments in the last election), the main thrust of the site seems dedicated to commenting on the major news of the day from a liberal perspective and slamming Republicans. Will this intestigative team – whose first assignment is the nebulous topic of the economy – be independently investigating the causes of our current trouble (for example) or will their charge be o identify Republicans who can share some blame? While there has been nothing to suggest this investigative team will be ideologiclly charged, it is something to keep a watch for whenever ideological groups sponsor projects. But only time will tell.