The $1.75 million Huffington Post Investigative Fund that is meant to make the newspaper end times less scary might be getting off to a rocky start.
In March, the Huffington Post announced it would join with Atlantic Philanthropies to spend to create the fund. We thought it was a brilliant PR move from a blog that some have accused of stealing content.
But two months later, freelance Wall Street reporter Teri Buhl — she does work for the New York Post and Trader Monthly — tells us the HuffPo Fund is having trouble “getting any content out.”
Specifically, Teri says HuffPo “lied about having their site ready and a having a business editor to edit my work.”
And so, five weeks after HuffPo agreed to buy her story, Teri finally bailed and sold it to The Mortgage Lender Implode-O-Meter instead.
We asked Teri if she thought HuffPo was having a hard time spending its $1.75 million fast enough or if it was “something else.”
Something else – There was another seasoned reporter from Newsday (who was a Pulitzer investigative reporting winner) that they jacked around – she bailed on them early May.
I think Nick Penniman either doesn’t really have the cash – they were only paying up to $1,000 for a feature – or considering he doesn’t really have a print background (he does video news and covers politics) he has no idea what he’s doing to try and cover the econ crises.
The first editor they stuck me with was Alison Silver, who they got rid of two weeks ago, was an Op-ed editor. No business background or investigative reporting skills.
Nick did manage to lure WAPO’s investigative editor. That comes on in July – which could help – but then he shouldn’t be hiring writers now and placing them on the street to report.
Think about it they are a news agregator with very little orginal reporting – do they really think they can go up against propublica – which Nick plans to do?
I simply have never had a more unprofessional experience.
We’ve emailed the Huffington Post and will update with any comment.
Update: A Huffington Post Investigative Fund spokesperson shared the following statement:
“The Huffington Post Investigative Fund doesn’t publicly discuss the details of private conversations it has with journalists. Buhl’s reporting did not meet the Fund’s standards. It’s worth pointing out that the website that published her piece had to run a correction and that the first comment about her piece accurately points out another error.”
“Nick put in writing after receiving my piece that it would be published and paid for. All sourcing was discussed and approved before the piece was accepted for payment. I am happy about the follow my peers in the financial press gave the story from Dealbreaker to ProPublica, along with the overwhelming response from readers thanking me for highlighting the issues in apprasial reform and conflicts of interest at BofA.”