Philippa Thomas Online

Occasional thoughts about life, books and news.

I didn’t expect her to say THAT

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So the Kennedy School has a lovely and civilised habit of inviting speakers, inviting the rest of us to hear them, and (today at least) providing coffee and croissants. Oh how TOUGH it is going to be to return to the Real World!

Anyhow. Today. Breakfast for around forty of us with Arianna Huffington, as she talked about new media, how she got HuffPost up and running, what it’s doing now and next. (and promoted her new book “Third World America”.)

What struck me most? She talked about the wave of anti immigrant, anti Islamic energy in the U.S as “outgrowths of America’s economic anxieties.” (So much progressive diagnosis of our ills heads back to that famous Clinton line, “it’s the economy stupid!”)

She insisted that America is in real crisis. “Upward mobility, which is the heart of the American dream, has been turned on its head. We’re seeing downward mobility now.”

She talked about her business model for the Huffington Post. How her latest venture is to go local – starting with
Huffpost Chicago.

She kept talking about the “legacy media” (does that make me a dinosaur?). But when I asked her how long she thought the “New York Times” would survive in print, her answer was instant. “For ever!” “The future is hybrid”. A lot of observers would disagree, but from a new media pioneer, that was a notable reaction.

Author: philippathomas

I've been a BBC newswoman for 28 years: reporting from around the world. Currently to be seen anchoring BBC World News TV. Main interests - politics, diplomacy, tech, media, arts and all things American. I began this personal blog as a 2011 Nieman Journalism Fellow at Harvard. You can also find me talking daily news on Twitter at @PhilippaBBC, and sharing anything from travel photos to my year in books on Instagram at @philippanews. Thanks for reading!

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