NEW YORK: MediaGlow, AOL's Web publishing business, launched PoliticsDaily.com this week, taking advantage of surging consumer interest in national politics.
The first months of President Barack Obama's administration have augmented interest in the political process among a wide range of consumers, noted Melinda Henneberger, editor-in-chief of the site and former New York Times Washington correspondent.
"There could not be a better moment to be launching this, given the interest in the president and all of the problems he is facing and how they really turn out voters from both parties," she said.
AOL cited a Pew Center poll showing that 74% of Internet users turned to the Web to either get more involved in the political process or gain information about election topics last year in a statement announcing the launch. Many cable news outlets also saw ratings gains after Obama's inauguration.
Henneberger added that PoliticsDaily.com aims to differentiate itself from other sites by including opinions from a wide range of viewpoints.
"The difference is that it is not partisan; it is completely focused on politics but not picking just one side or the other," she said. "I think that the model until now has been that the only way to do one of these sites has been for them to be hyper-partisan."
AOL has hired former staffers from USA Today, the Associated Press, Reader's Digest, and the Chicago Sun-Times for the site. The portal also features blogs on women's political issues, student topics, First Lady Michelle Obama, and a free online political documentary.