Press Release: Huffington Post Highline Draws Large Audience for Longform Journalism
New York (May 12, 2016) — In its first year of publishing, The Huffington Post's acclaimed long-form enterprise, Highline, has demonstrated that there is a vibrant mass audience for high-quality digital journalism. Since publishing its first article in May 2015, Highline stories have often been among HuffPost's top performers. The magazine has already been nominated for numerous honors, including a National Magazine Award for Public Interest, a World Press Photography Award for Multimedia Storytelling, a Webby Award for Best Editorial Experience, and a Livingston Award for Excellence in National Reporting. Just this week, Highline won the Deadline Club Award for Best Business Feature.
"It's been amazing to watch Highline's growth over the past year and I'm very grateful to Rachel and Greg for their leadership in producing deeply reported, beautifully designed multimedia stories with the power to have an impact and make a difference. As we expected and in fact even more than we expected — there is a passionate and highly-engaged audience hungry for this kind of storytelling," said Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post. "In the next year, we look forward to taking Highline to the next level with new editorial initiatives, a video series and interactive features incorporating 360 video."
"We knew this going in, of course, but it's always nice to be reminded that people really do like to read the kind of deeply reported, highly produced stories we do," said Greg Veis, Highline's co-executive editor. "So while we're happy about the anniversary, we're even more focused on making sure the successes of our second year dwarf those of our first."
"We want Highline to be a home for constant experimentation, but we're not doing new stuff for the sake of new stuff, said co-executive editor Rachel Morris. "The goal is always to combine a high level of narrative and visual artistry with deep reporting."
Highline is thrilled to announce plans for further expansion, most notably three new contributing writers: Julia Ioffe, Jason Fagone, and Luke O'Brien — as well as new contributing editor/producer, Michael Hobbes.
- Julia Ioffe, who recently made headlines for her profile of Melania Trump, has written for The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, GQ, and Foreign Policy, and was a senior editor at The New Republic. A respected foreign policy commentator, she previously reported from Russia. Her Highline story "Mothers of ISIS"a moving narrative about women whose children abandoned them to join the worst terror organization on earth — went viral last year.
- Jason Fagone is an investigative journalist with a focus on technology whose work has appeared in The New York Times, GQ, New York, and Wired. He is the author of two books, Ingenious and Horsemen of the Esophagus, and is currently working on a new one, The Cryptologists, about U.S. women codebreakers in the world wars. This week, Highline published Jason's newest piece, Meet the Ungers, about 230 men and one woman who were sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of terrible crimes several decades ago, until Merle Unger Jr., one of the most notorious escape artists of our time, discovered an ingenious (and legal) way to get them out.
- Luke O'Brien is a contributor to Politico magazine, where he has written widely discussed profiles of Michael Bloomberg and Tina Brown. He covers everything from media and business to technology and sports, and his work has been anthologized in the Best Technology Writing and noted in the Best American Sports Writing.
- Michael Hobbes has written for The New Republic, Slate, Foreign Policy and Pacific Standard. He spent much of his career at human rights NGOs, and often writes about international affairs and development. He is also an animator and filmmaker.
In the coming year, Highline will launch several new editorial initiatives, such as a standalone video series and ambitious interactive features that incorporate 360-degree video produced by The Huffington Post's newly acquired virtual reality arm, RYOT.
Highline stories have consistently drawn large audiences that engage deeply with the articles. The biggest hits include Jason Cherkis's harrowing story about a shocking rape within The Runaways, the seminal '70s punk band that launched Joan Jett, which became the #1 story on The Huffington Post that week. Other top performers were Kathryn Joyce's investigation into the entrenched culture of sexual harassment within America's national parks and forests, and Mariah Blake's National Magazine Award-nominated story about a DuPont factory that poisoned a small West Virginia town. In addition, several stories have been optioned for TV and film, including a 15-part series by award-winning journalist Steven Brill about Johnson & Johnson, which was picked up by George Clooney's Smokehouse Pictures.
Highline pieces have triggered significant public and policy impact:
- Following Kathryn Joyce's story about widespread sexual harassment of female employees within the National Parks Service, nearly two dozen members of Congress signed a letter to the agency calling for a system-wide investigation.
- After Dana Liebelson's chilling account of a Nevada prison policy that allows guards to shoot inmates with birdshot — causing numerous serious injuries and at least one death — Nevada announced that it was ending the practice.
- Another Liebelson story featured a terrifying portrait of life in prison for kids. Her investigation, which included video footage of a Michigan Department of Corrections officer's brutal treatment of a minor, was nominated for a Livingston Award. Following its publication, a bipartisan group of Michigan lawmakers and a member of the US House of Representatives introduced a package of bills addressing the treatment of youth in adult prisons.
Read more from Highline here.
About The Huffington Post
The Huffington Post is a Pulitzer Prize-winning source of breaking news, video, features, and entertainment, as well as a highly engaged global community for opinion and conversation. The platform has 100,000 bloggers -- from politicians, students and celebrities to academics, parents and policy experts — who contribute in real-time on the subjects about which they are most passionate. The Huffington Post is committed to covering our core editorial pillars — news and politics, wellness, and solutions to the world's biggest problems — and using every available tool and platform, including virtual reality and immersive storytelling, to inform, inspire, entertain and empower. The Huffington Post has editions in the UK, Canada, France, Spain, Italy, Japan, Maghreb, Germany, Brazil, South Korea, Greece, India, Australia and the Arab world, and is part of AOL Inc.