Global round-up: HuffPost says hooray for Bollywood

Global round-up: HuffPost says hooray for Bollywood

Online news publisher Huffington Post has launched an Indian edition as part of a collaboration with the Times of India Group and its digital brand, Times Internet.

HuffPost India is the 13th national edition for the online publisher, and signals a broader expansion of the site into Asia.

According to Reuters, internet penetration is low in India, with only a quarter of the country’s 1.25 billion population currently using the internet, however this number is expected to rapidly increase over the next few years as connections to rural areas improve and smartphones proliferate.

In a blog post following the announcement of the site’s launch, Arianna Huffington, president and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post Media Group, said that editor-in-chief of the new site would be KK Sruthijith, former editor of business publication Quartz India.

“We’ll hit the digital ground running with stories that look at many aspects of Indian life and culture, including Narendra Modi’s first six months in office, the ways low oil prices are helping the Indian economy, the country’s record on climate change, an interview with the Bollywood director Farah Khan, and some of the best Indian travel apps,” Ms Huffington said.

At the launch of HuffPost India, Huffington Post CEO Jimmy Maymann said that the group was working on a deal to start a Chinese edition of its site.

“We’d like to put China on the roadmap, we hope we can do business there,” Mr Maymann said.

“China is really pushing the boundaries in (online) innovation.”

New York Times releases open source platform

The New York Times R&D lab has released an open source platform that allows developers to manage crowdsourced projects and involve readers in various tasks.

The platform, Hive, was built for another project from the R&D lab called Madison, which encouraged the newspaper’s readers to provide data on historical ads from the Times archive.

This project required a system that could track tasks, users and create assignments based on which users were eligible for each task. The system, which has now been released as Hive, can also validate crowdsourced data according to various criteria.

The technology could theoretically be used by publishers to build crowdsourcing projects where readers help them to analyse and verify data, similar to the Free the Files project by ProPublica, where readers helped the newsroom team to track campaign spending during the 2012 presidential election.

In a blog post about the release of Hive, research engineer at the Times R&D lab Jacqui Maher wrote “no crowdsourcing platform could be successful without the crowd”.

“Hive has an intentionally flexible definition of a user: you may require a signup and login process, or simply allow anonymous contributions to lower the barrier of entry,” she said.

It “keeps track of each user’s number of contributions by task, both as a total, and further broken down by how many were skipped, completed or verified.”

Economist editor joins Bloomberg

Long-time editor of British magazine The Economist John Micklethwait has left the publication to become editor-in-chief of Bloomberg.

Mr Micklethwait had been in the editor’s chair since early 2006 and at the magazine for 27 years.

He said that it had been a privilege to work at “such a consistently stimulating and collegial place”.

“I am extremely confident that The Economist will continue to thrive as an independent liberal voice that echoes around the world,” he said.

Chairman of The Economist Group, Rupert Pennant-Rea, said that the magazine was sorry to see Mr Micklethwait leave.

“He has steered the newspaper through some extraordinarily difficult times, both in the media industry and in the wider world, and has done so with great energy and enthusiasm,” he said.

“His nine years as editor is close to the average tenure for the previous 15 editors, but none of them had to cope with the scale and pace of the changes he has handled.

“He leaves with the best wishes of the board and, I’m sure, all the staff.”

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