Lydia Polgreen, a black woman, has been named as the next editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post, following founder Arianna Huffington, who was the first.
Polgreen, a New York Times associate masthead editor and editorial director of NYT Global, said that it was a hard decision to leave the New York Times but that she felt the editor-in-chief position was a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
“I feel like we’re living in a moment right now where media has to fundamentally rethink its position vis-a-vis power,” she said. “I think that the election of Donald Trump and the basic difficulty that the media had in anticipating it tells us something really profound about the echo chamber in which we live, the ways in which journalism has failed to reach beyond its own inner limits.”
She also praised the Huffington Post for having “potential and the possibility of really meeting this populist moment that we’re living in and meeting people where they actually are.”
“The DNA of The Huffington Post is fundamentally progressive, but I think that has a really capacious meaning and comes to include so many of the things that motivated not just the people who were rah rah Bernie or who voted for Hillary Clinton, but also many, many people in the United States who voted for Trump, who have fundamental concerns about the way the country is moving and the future,” she said.
Polgreen also spoke to the recent election of Donald Trump, saying that it has sparked a “wave of intolerance and bigotry that seems to be sweeping the globe” and that the Huffington Post had an “absolutely indispensable role to play in this era in human history.”
“When I say human history, I don’t take that lightly,” she said. “I think that just as there were moments when the Washington Post or The New York Times or the Times of London during World War II had a huge mission, we, too, have a huge mission. And that is to listen, to report, to tell stories, to seek out the stories and voices that aren’t being heard, even ones that might feel uncomfortable to us.”
“I just think that this group of people and this platform have so much to contribute to the betterment of humanity and to much greater journalism.”