Huffington Post Turns Up the Volume At BlackVoices

aol black voices Huffington Post Turns Up the Volume At BlackVoicesDuring the early days of the AOL Huffington Post merger, we had a chuckle when Arianna Huffington was named editor-in-chief of an array of AOL blogs outside of her area of expertise: Engadget, Moviefone, Autoblog and, perhaps most glaringly, BlackVoices.

No need to cringe anymore. Ms. Huffington has entrusted the site’s vision and recruitment to managing editor Rebecca Carroll, a former producer at Charlie Rose and editor at publications including Paper, The Independent Film & Video Monthly and Africana.com. Sheila Johnson, who helped to launch BET, is serving as strategic adviser for multicultural initiatives at AOL Huffington Post.

The HuffPo multicultural concept announced pre-merger called Global Black was slated to be built from scratch. Instead, AOL’s BlackVoices will be remodeled in the style of HuffPo site, devoted to African American news. The site will mimic the typical HuffPo combination of blog writing, aggregation and more traditional reporting, but there is a catch: the core writers and editors will be black.

“It’s not black voices if it’s not black,” Ms. Carroll put it, simply. “The idea is for it to be authentic… Oftentimes when white reporters and editors go out to cover black America what happens is you get the same headlines. That’s because it’s about black folks as opposed to being of black folks.”

That said, Ms. Carroll sees the audience as the broad one of “race-conscious, race-savvy people,” explaining that issues pertaining to the African American community have potential to be of interest to all. Stories from BlackVoices reporters will also be cross-posted in other relevant sections of the site.

Scheduled to launch later this summer, the BlackVoices vertical will link from a drop-down category, along with the new HuffPost LatinoVoices, also set to launch this summer, on the main site. (The drop-down has yet to be named; we can’t blame them, it’s a tricky one.)

Trymaine Lee, part of the Pulitzer-prize winning Times Picayune team that covered the Katrina disaster, and Gene Demby, from the New York Times, have already been recruited to work under Ms. Carroll. The content will move away from the celebrity focus of the AOL site and will instead emphasize more news and in-depth, thoughtful reporting.

The categories on the still-Beta site will be replaced, and the site will follow the HuffPo model of blogging in the left rail, news in the middle and specialized content on the right.

Looking to move away from mainstream coverage of black America, Ms. Carroll – a black woman herself – plans to avoid what she calls “Black headline fatigue,” in which every story she reads centers around issues such as violence and unemployment that seem to portray how “worse off” the black community is.

“I feel like I have been working on this idea of creating a place where people can go and read about and learn about and understand a nuanced narrative about race for my whole life,” she said with a laugh. “It’s really hard to accomplish that.”

Comments

  1. Dark-crystal says:

    Funny, Arianna hires a black woman who doesn’t particularly know or like black people by some of the comments she makes about the pre-existing audience that makes up Blackvoices. Her lens is filtered and myopic and she knows nothing about digital. Epic Fail on Arianna and Shiela’s part–and the “new brand” will fail as well. 

    1. Jon3742son says:

      Whether her “brand’ fails, or not it’ll be far better than what was there! Black Voices was simply a disgrace to the African American community! You, unfortunately sound just like one of those black people that have the usual ghetto mentality. We need real comprehensive news, not just the same pathetic entertainment BS. Thank the Lord for the change!

  2. black girl lost says:

    wow in other words another site for me not to go on. every time we get something that works white people change it up, and send a uncle tom to do the job to make oit ok. fuck  AOL and black voices. that’s what i don’t watch BET anymore it got white washed. WHITE PEOPLE  will take anything from black folks damn!

    1. 123 says:

      racist fuck

    2. Jon3742son says:

      Every time “WE” get something? Please, don’t make me laugh! Do black people own AOL? Or, Huffpost? Or even BET? So, what are you even talking about? That’s the issue, and that fact that blacks don’t own any of those mentioned! And, when you own something then you can change them, but here you are another black person complaining about people who are the real owners changing something that they own! Do, you realize how foolish you sound? And, the person that they hired to do the job was doing just that…doing her job! So, why does she have to be subjected to the usual BV’s immature name calling and profanity? That attitude, language, and behavior was the problem with BV’s in the first place! and, you say that works? Sadly you sound just like the A typical black woman! Thanks, for putting that on display for all to bear witness too! Stop always trying to blame white people for everything! If, black people tried working together like other races do, then no one would be able to take anything from us!

      1. GregMJ4444 says:

        Have to agree this change is good! BV’s was full of nothing but bitter and angry BW! Not a good place to be. It won’t be missed  you believe that.

  3. Anonymous says:

    *sigh* this will turn into another mouth piece for the unprofessional left and the libertarian, Koch brothers loving right.     RIP true black voices.

  4. Interesting and fanned.

  5. Erma T says:

    The core writers ‘will’ be black…sounds like a lawsuit to me (other people can’t write about urban/black life?…that’s silly). Next their soccer moms section will have to be all white to keep it ‘authentic’ right?

    At the end of the day its: White owned…black staffed

    Translation: Run boy….run (doesn’t sound ‘authentic’ to me)

    Just another sinking product line to garner ad dollars that will be shut down in the blink of an eye once the funds don’t show up as expected over time

  6. lisa says:

    black voices is just WHITE VOICES in BLACK FACE! F THEM!

    1. Jon3742son says:

      Then get off your butts, and get your own! You’re just mad, because BW had their …(well so they thought was their’s) bully pulpit taken away, and were “SHUT DOWN”! Now you have no where to rant, and play the victim. Personally, I love it!

  7. Jon3742son says:

    Sorry, but if you think that Black Voices, as you say “really worked” then you’re the one that has the problem ! Because, BV’s didn’t work, nor was it responsible to either the black community at large, or it’s readership! It was simply for the most part a venue of “hate”, where black people fussed and fought each other day after day! The moderators freely censored anyone’s opinion that they didn’t like, and didn’t want to hear the truth, nor have other black people be exposed to the truth. That’s why Black Voices sorely needed to be dismantled, because it was always, and continually portrayed the African American community as clowns, entertainment freaks, and a people that choose to be socially irresponsible. That sadly is exactly what most black people embrace, along with the ghetto mentality. We as a people need to see “real” news stories about our communities, and not the same tired, typical ones that BV’s always focused on! The biggest problem was that the overwhelming majority of the moderators were black women! And, they were the real problem. BW hate hearing the truth…especially about themselves. The Psychology Today article was case in point! As a result this action, and change is the backlash! This change in my opinion was a positive move, because it also finally showed black people that BV’s was, and isn’t theirs as they think, or want so badly to believe. It’s all about ownership! And, black people don’t own BV’s, nor AOL! So, stop the usual complaining! if, you don’t like the new evolution, then move the “f**k” on to those self hatred, and racist sites that unfortunately most black folks prefer. lastly, black women were in truth “shut down”, and they needed to be. BW thought that they were running the show, but the show never was never yours to run! So, go put your weaves back on, and continue to “fake it up”. Go HuffPo

    1. olivia says:

      hi, jon. Youdo know that just because the prior had ill tempered blk. females suppositly holding it doTwn is not lucid point. Because the whites were behind all of that rampant racism.  They were the moderatores  who allowed all of theshizzle get out of hand and blame it on the blk. wm.

  8. GregMJ4444 says:

    preach my brother! you’re just telling the truth, the very truthg that black folks can’t stand to hear!

  9. olivia says:

    I miss the old blackvoices. True there were racists and rabblerousers  but we could go on most of the pages and find articles pertaining to us. Not so much anymore. On the entertainment page of this new b.V. we’d be hard pressed to find anything that only applies to Black people. And Black people in charge does’nt mean anything; they just do and say what they are told by the powers that be.