HuffPo starts local news push

“The Huffington Post is planning to expand into local news across the US, founder Arianna Huffington said last night, beginning with a site edited for the community of Chicago. Huffington said the Chicago site would aggregate news, sports, crime, arts and business news from different local sources as well as contributions from bloggers in what will be the first of a series of projects in “dozens of US cities”. The Chicago site will initially be curated by just one editor.” —Guardian.co.uk

I’m a bit bothered by “aggregate news, sports, crime, arts and business news from different local sources.” This suggests (to me) that a HuffPo editor in St. Louis, should they expand to that city, would link to stories from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch website. Or even our statewide news network, when we do a story with St. Louis relevance.

Which is way the web works, of course. I’m not quite sure what about this plan bothers me. Maybe it’s: What can a single Huffington Post editor provide that the St. Louis Post-Dispatch website cannot?

Is it a matter of putting an editor in each of the top 50 markets… have them aggregate stories and links to local news sources… and building an online audience that is smaller while accomplishing all of this at a fraction of the overhead?

Or is it that the people behind the Huffington Post just get the web better than most of the other guys?

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