Huffington Post has created a $1.75-million fund for the coming year to hire 10 journalists and freelancers to develop stories concerning the U.S. economy. It is the latest entry into journalism through the philanthropic route.
This is being extolled as an investigative journalism initiative, which is always a bit of a danger entering an exercise because it raises expectations. It might be better for HuffPo to simply say it's going to establish a fund for journalism, period. It is, after all, a site with tens of millions of page views each month that depends almost entirely on free submissions. This fund more than doubles its workforce.
The initiative is a partnership with The Atlantic Philanthropies, which focuses on health, aging, population, reconciliation, human rights and youth. Other donors are involved, too.
A strong feature of the fund is that all Web sites will be permitted to carry the results of the journalists' work simultaneously.