Name: Nico Pitney
Title: National editor
Outlet: Huffington Post
Web site: www.huffingtonpost.com
Preferred e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Nico Pitney is national editor at The Huffington Post. His past positions include deputy research director at the Center for American Progress (CAP), and managing editor of ThinkProgress.org. He talks with PRWeek about the growth of advocacy journalism and using a nontraditional journalism background.
PRWeek: What are the topics you're looking forward to covering in the coming months?
Pitney: It really does range quite a bit, and a lot of it has to do with what the Obama administration tries to do. And I think that we want to tell the story of how Congress and the White House work together, and the Supreme Court nomination will be a fantastic story to cover. The internal deliberations in the Obama administration, and how they end up getting into their policy positions will increasingly become a major issue, as will healthcare and climate change as they pick those up. Also, reporting on Afghanistan and Iraq and… the human impact of the economic meltdown.
PRWeek: There's a lot of content on the Huffington Post site. How do you decide what gets covered and what doesn't make the cut?
Pitney: There is the major news of the day that everyone is covering, and we try to provide a unique take on it. There are also issues that we try to stay very closely on top of. Arianna Huffington has written constantly about the [bank] stress tests and elements of them… There are some stories that just pop… and you know that the readers will be interested.
PRWeek: Do you have any recent examples of stories grabbing the readers' attention?
Pitney: You get a sense of political figures that people are obsessive about and they want to know everything about them. [Minnesota Republican Congresswoman] Michele Bachmann comes to mind. She is a controversial figure who is saying things often times that are pretty wild and notable, and our readers love reading about them. With other things, like the tea parties, we've had our citizen reporters documenting and photographing from the tea parties across the country.
PRWeek: What's your interaction with PR professionals like?
Pitney: We get a lot of e-mails from the PR folks, and it's generally pretty easy to tell which ones are reading our content and generally know what we're looking for before they approach us, and who is either just shooting content from out of the blue or sending us a form e-mail.