Arianna Huffington Meets the HFPA

by HFPA July 25, 2014

La Huffington holds court with the HFPA

Theo Kingma/HFPA

Little known fact: The HFPA has members representing all 11 countries in which The Huffington Post currently has an edition (as well as India, the next territory in which the internet journalism portal will launch). With 95 million daily visitors, Arianna Huffington’s web empire, ranks as one of the internet’s blockbuster successes. One of the first independent news portals to achieve universal renown, The Huffington Post was launched in 2005 and purchased by AOL three years ago. Today it’s a global force in internet news content in nine languages, a testament to the resolve and vision of its founder, Arianna Huffington, arguably the internet’s grand dame. The ex wife of republican congressman Michael Huffington, she was a California gubernatorial candidate, is a national radio personality and author as well as pundit, first conservative then liberal - always articulate and incisive.

Huffington was recently a guest at one of the HFPA’s occasional newsmaker roundtables during which she expressed her views on a wide ranging selection of topics, many of which she deftly connected to her newly published book Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder. During the press conference Huffington spoke passionately about the subject of the book and her most recent campaign: The “war on burnout”, the stress and overwork which she considers a principal cause of imbalance in our modern lives. “President Clinton has admitted making his greatest mistakes when he was tired” she noted as evidence of the pandemic of overwork that plagues modern society. To counter it Huffington has taken to tirelessly advocating sufficient sleep, strategic naps and restorative meditation as part of a lifestyle designed to save us form our largely self-imposed obsessions with work and productivity.

As usual the conversation also included many other topics among which the future of print media in the digital world. Her estimation that “print will absolutely survive, (...) something in our DNA (...) makes us want to go to newspapers, and read and hold something in our hands and I love it”, was particularly comforting to a group of journalists making the not always seamless transition to new media. Arianna spoke poignantly about the recent crisis in Greece and what it portends for her native country and with the political savvy for which she is know she opined that “anyone that tells you about (the) 2016 (elections) , knows nothing really”.

True as that may be we feel confident at least that one prediction will prove true: Arianna Huffington will be there to weigh in on the events and continue to shape the digital future of media.