The online news site recently listed an opening for managing editor. The "ideal candidate" will have a college degree and all of... two years experience. It would be nice if they had managed something. Journalism experience is absolutely optional.
Just as important, if not moreso, is "passion," skill at "listening" and "a cool head under pressure." Translation: An ability to cope with a screaming, tyrant publisher who will send you to do personal errands and maybe to a brainwashing camp.
Upping the job's experience requirements would presumably narrow the pool of people willing to do that dramatically.
Investigative journalism project
But surely HuffPo boss Arianna Huffington would want to scoop up one of the newspaper industry's many laid-off investigative journalists for her new $1.75 million philanthropic project focused on... investigative journalism?
Not so much. The Washington, DC-based "Huffington Post Investigative Fund" is trumpeted in a press release by Huffington Post co-founder Ken Lerer, a Barack Obama fundraiser. So maybe it shouldn't come as a surprise that the person selected to head up the fund, TomPaine.com editor Nick Penniman, has as least as much experience in progressive activist circles as he does in publishing.
Penniman might not be a bloodthirsty investigative newspaperman, but Huffington should count herself lucky to have him in one respect, whether she realizes it or not: He's got enough general professional and life experience not to be entirely cowed by her whims.