Huffington Post South Africa will provide a vibrant local expression of the global Huffington Post mission.
Our strategy is to connect audiences and conversations cross-screen, building a distinct brand and audience by distributing sharable content through relevant platforms, on and off site. This strategy has led to Huffington Post’s position as the #1 publisher shared on Facebook.
We also work to build and maintain fast-paced, digitally-savvy and data-driven newsrooms. Our teams are endlessly inquisitive and experiment with the best mediums and formats, especially video.
At our core, we will ask ourselves every day: “How do we actually create authentic connections with our audience? How can we make an impact on the world and how do we become champions for our readers?”
While it is important that any newsrooms cover stories of crime, scandal and tragedy, HuffPost South Africa will also embrace solutions-based journalism in our reporting. As media, our responsibility is to give our audiences a fair, balanced and accurate picture of what’s happening.
Empowering and engaging
Only showing tragedy and violence, which focuses on what’s broken and what’s not working, misses too much of what is happening around us, especially in South Africa. Feeding audiences an exclusive diet of bad news leaves people feeling disempowered and disengaged. Our solutions-based journalism will aim to fill in the other half, giving people the whole picture and encouraging the finding of answers.
On the South African site, this won’t be a special section or set type of story, but a thread that runs through our news; from dealing with elderly parents, to covering South Africa’s drought and the battle taking place between treasury and the Hawks at the moment.
Given South Africa’s rich and politically engaged history, our people naturally desire an inclusive space to express their voice and opinions. We believe we can help people lead better lives, make more informed choices and build stronger communities through telling stories and creating experiences that matter. In terms of making that more inclusive than ever, we are incredibly excited to announce that we will be doing a first in this country: inviting blogs in any of the South African languages. For too long South Africa’s African languages have been neglected by our mainstream media.
Taking a stand
And while the HuffPost isn’t beholden to any political party – we will certainly take a stance on issues that matter to us, South Africa and South Africans, such as women’s rights. Like our mission statement puts it, we fight the good fight.
We create exciting solutions for our advertising partners too. Huffington Post has long been a pioneer in the native space, working with brands since 2010 on native solutions. Fundamental to what we do is telling stories that connect people and engage audiences, and this is true for our advertising campaigns too.
Throughout a campaign we co-create native content with the client, drawing on the best formats and mediums for conveying their message and engaging with the HuffPost audience in an authentic way, seamlessly integrating the native articles into the user experience, while clearly labelling our sponsored content.
We are fierce. We are fun. And we’re here to tell your story.
Charlene Beukes is general manager of The Huffington Post South Africa
Image: HuffPostSA Facebook page