HuffPo in T.O.: convergence is the future

Arianna Huffington, founder, publisher and editor-in-chief of news site Huffington Post, thinks newspapers are always going to be around, and that Canada is on the right track to a bright journalistic future.

Huffington, who is 60, spoke this week at a Toronto event organized by the Women’s Executive Network (last year, she ranked 28th on Forbes‘ list of powerful women). “As long as there are people who grow up with newspapers as I did, there are always going to be newspapers. I still subscribe to seven newspapers and I love reading my news in print as well, of course, as constantly being online. So I think this can be the golden age of journalism.”

Huffington spoke about the fear she’s felt as both business woman and journalist, particularly when she co-founded HuffPo in 2005, the CBC reports.

“How can women overcome the fears that have often stopped us from following our dreams — the fear of failure, the fear of not being approved of,” she said. “Of course men have these fears too, but in women they seem to be more intensified.”

“It was such a risk and I had my career — I was doing books and articles — and why did I need to go on an internet entrepreneurial project at my advanced age?” Plenty of people, including her friends, asked her this repeatedly — and occasionally still do.

“So obviously there was a fear of failure in the launching of the project, but I’ve learned through the years and through failing along the way that there is nothing really terribly wrong with failing — that failure is just part of success.”

She commended Canada for taking the same route as the US when it comes to new media:

“Right now in Canada you have both legacy media and new media converging, which is really what’s happening in the United States too,” she said. “You don’t have like, old media and new media.

“Every one of your major newspapers has a very active online presence and is doing all the things that we, the new media kids, are doing. And we, the new media kids, certainly at the Huffington Post, are hiring more and more reporters and professional editors.

“So I see the future, whether it’s in Canada or the United States, to be a hybrid future — a hybrid future where you have the best of the old converging with the best of the new and there are those who thrive in the new environment.”