March 9, 2017

She’s not going to call it the Polgreen Post.

But count on New Huffington Post Editor-in-Chief Lydia Polgreen to make big changes to the digital news company, which will celebrate its 12th birthday in May.

Coming is a “fairly significant reorganization” of HuffPost’s editorial staff aimed at retooling “a pretty robust newsroom to chase what I think our mission should be,” Polgreen told Recode Peter Kafka.

That reorganization will emphasize original reporting focused on centers of power like Washington, D.C. and major corporations, Polgreen, a longtime foreign correspondent and former editor at The New York Times, told Kafka.

“To me, that’s the big story right now,” said Polgreen, who took over for HuffPost founder Arianna Huffington in December. “Who has it and who doesn’t have it? And at the moment, the powers that be, whether they’re in Washington, in the White House, the Democrats or big corporations — our primary job needs to be holding those primary institutions to account.”

Also in the works is an attempt to bring a broader swath of America into the fold. Polgreen wants The Huffington Post to go beyond its traditional progressive audience and become more ecumenical — in the interview, she mentioned partnering with local news outlets such as Christian radio stations.

“Traditionally, when we’ve thought of the powerless, we’ve thought of minorities or people who feel voiceless,” Polgreen told Kafka. “I think there’s a much larger group of people who feel kind of voiceless right now.”

Polgreen has made similar pronouncements before. During a visit to Harvard University in February, Polgreen expressed her hope that journalism would find its roots as a blue collar profession, invoking the likes of former Chicago Tribune columnist Mike Royko.

“Who’s the Mike Royko of the gig economy today?” Polgreen said. “Chances are it would be a woman. Perhaps it would be a person of color. But I think that journalism needs to rediscover its roots as a blue-collar profession, and find a way to get back in touch with empathic storytelling.”

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly dated HuffPost. It will be celebrating its 12th anniversary in May, not its 17th.

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Benjamin Mullin is the managing editor of He previously reported for Poynter as a staff writer, Google Journalism Fellow and Naughton Fellow, covering journalism…
Benjamin Mullin

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