While newspapers sit and debate the practicalities and merits of venturing into a non-profit business model, the Huffington Post runs full steam ahead. Over the weekend the Post announced that, in association with The Atlantic Philanthropies, they have created the Huffington Post Investigative Fund.
With a $1.75 million endowment the fund is a separate, non-profit entity that hopes to be an Internet-based news organization with a focus on original reporting. The work the fund produces will be available for any publication or web site to publish at the same time it is posted on the Huffington Post—unlike sites like the New York Times that is attempting to curb websites from taking their content and linking back to the paper’s website.
The majority of the fund will be used to pay journalist—yes you read that correctly—to do investigative reports. The fund will be run by Nick Penniman, currently the head of The American News Project. The fund intends to support very traditional investigative reporting by professional journalists, as well as teams of professional journalists, amateurs, or students attempting to refine their craft. It sounds like one of the best opportunities for writers that has come up in a while. Leave it to the Huffington Post to raise the bar for journalistic excellence in the modern age.