NEW YORK – The Huffington Post and BET co-founder Sheila Johnson are launching a HuffPost section devoted to African-Americans.
The section, “HuffPost GlobalBlack,” is expected to debut in early March. The Huffington Post is set to make an official announcement about the new platform Thursday.
“Our goal is to cover more stories of importance to the black community,” says Arianna Huffington, the co-founder and editor-in-chief of the New York-based Huffington Post.
“We have the supreme irony of having the first African-American president, which is such a historic event and a milestone, while at the same time, conditions for African-Americans are deteriorating, in terms of unemployment, in terms of high school graduation, in terms of the number of African-American males in prisons,” Huffington says.
GlobalBlack is the 27th section for the Huffington Post, but its first racially based one. It plans to soon launch a Latino section.
A February 2010 survey by Edison Research and Arbitron found that about 25 percent of all Twitter users are black, roughly double the percentage of blacks in the U.S. population. About 11 percent of all U.S. Facebook users are black, the social-networking site reports.
A greater percentage of whites than blacks and Latinos have broadband access at home, but laptop ownership is now about even for all these groups.
“In all of this digital space, the African-American voice is really falling off the radar screen,” says Johnson, who sold the Washington D.C.-based Black Entertainment Television to Viacom in 2000. “We’re on other radar screens, with other digital sites, which is wonderful. But I really wanted to bring the real news, the storytelling — to really bring back the voice of the black community on some relevant news and views.”
“We’re going to be able to fill that void,” Johnson adds.