The Huffington Post has launched in the UK with Tony Blair, Alastair Campbell and Sarah Brown, wife of former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, all blogging free of charge.
Arianna Huffington, the founder and editor-in-chief of the popular American self-styled internet newspaper which was recently acquired by AOL for $315 million has come to the UK to launch The Huffington Post today.
The UK version of the site went live this morning with blog posts from Culture Minister Jeremy Hunt, Sarah Brown, Alastair Campbell, former press secretary to Blair, and Huffington herself.
As per Huffington’s controversial policy, no bloggers are paid for their writing. Instead they are encouraged to write for free for the highly popular platform as a way of “showcasing their work to a global audience”.
Blair has yet to post a blog, but has been named as one of the influential new writers for the UK site. A spokesman for The Huffington Post said that bloggers are not under any commitment as to how often and when they blog. It could be every week or it may only be once.
In April earlier this year, a group of unpaid bloggers began legal proceedings against Huffington, post her major windfall from AOL, claiming they had been treated like ‘modern day slaves’.
The launch party this evening is happening in London and features a panel discussion entitled the ‘Self-Expression Revolution’. Huffington is joined by Kelly Osbourne, Alastair Campbell and The Telegraph’s Celia Walden.
The UK version of the site is edited by Carla Buzasi, and has 10 permanent members of staff.
The Huffington Post UK looks very similar in design to the US site and offers coverage of politics, entertainment, living, style, world news, technology, comedy.
Huffington, president and editor-in-chief of AOL Huffington Post Media Group, said: “We are arriving here in the midst of a rich and thriving media culture marked by great innovation. We look forward to adding HuffPost UK to the mix, and to our real-time ‘digital water cooler’ - which embraces the best of the new (immediacy, transparency, interactivity) and the best of the old (fact-checking, accuracy, fairness, and an emphasis on storytelling) - becoming the spark for many interesting conversations.”