Huffington snags N.Y. Times star
In the latest sign that Web sites can compete on an equal footing with media giants, a top reporter for the New York Times is defecting to the Huffington Post.
Peter Goodman, until recently the paper's national economic correspondent and now a writer for the Sunday business section, has just signed the deal. And his reasoning helps explain why he would leave the high-profile platform of the Times.
"For me it's a chance to write with a point of view," Goodman says in an interview. "It's sort of the age of the columnist. With the dysfunctional political system, old conventional notions of fairness make it hard to tell readers directly what's going on. This is a chance for me to explore solutions in my economic reporting."
Goodman, who spent a decade at The Washington Post before his three years at the Times, says he will still rely on facts and not engage in "ranting." And while he was happy at the newspaper, he says, he found he was engaged in "almost a process of laundering my own views, through the tried-and-true technique of dinging someone at some think tank to say what you want to tell the reader."
Goodman's hiring is a coup for Arianna Huffington, who earlier this week hired Howard Fineman from Newsweek, which The Washington Post Co. is in the process of selling to businessman Sidney Harman. The Web site's editorial staff is now nearing 100.
Huffington says Goodman will become business and technology editor and will be hiring several reporters to expand the coverage. He will also "be writing lengthy, deep-dive pieces" on such subjects as redesigning capitalism and job creation.
"This is an example of how the Huffington Post, because of our traffic and our ability to help shape the national conversation, has demonstrated we can have an impact," she says. "Traditional journalists can come to us and not give up any of that impact. Often they can increase it."
Goodman's wife, Deanna Fei, was already blogging for Huffington, and Goodman met her when both were on a Columbia University panel. When the couple was in Los Angeles, Goodman e-mailed Huffington, wound up having a drink at her mansion and going out for dinner, and found himself being courted.
Goodman is the author of the recent book "Past Due: The End of Easy Money and the Renewal of the American Economy."
Asked if he has reservations about joining a left-leaning Web site, Goodman says that "I certainly buy into Arianna's vision that we have to be very directed at exploring solutions" and that he wants to be an advocate for the creation of well-paying jobs.
Goodman has come a long way since the 1990s, when I was an editor at The Post and was using him as a stringer in San Francisco.
| September 21, 2010; 6:53 PM ET
Categories: Latest stories, Top story | Tags: Arianna Huffington, Huffington Post, New York Times, Peter Goodman, economy
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