HuffPost SA to shine light on politics, life - editor

2016-11-21 11:58 - Kyle Venktess, Fin24
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Verashni Pillay (Twitter)

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Johannesburg - Huffington Post South Africa switched on its site on Monday as it became the first sub-Saharan African arm of the international online news hit. 

Launched in association with parent company Media24, of which Fin24 is also a division, the latest South African news site plans to deliver a mix of local and international news, politics, lifestyle and entertainment for locals.

Verashni Pillay, editor-in-chief of Huffington Post South Africa, told Fin24 that the launch of the website (www.huffingtonpost.co.za) is exciting.  

“We are coming into a company that has been in digital for a very long time so we really have a high bar to reach. But we are very excited to reach that bar,” Pillay told Fin24. 

“We are also very excited to offer something unique to South Africa and hope we will be doing that,” she added.

Political focus 

Pillay said that the website would place an emphasis on politics while offering an in-depth analysis of current affairs.  

“Huffington Post is really the home for great political journalism so we really want to do that well and offer not just news stories but analysis of what is going on, what you need to know about it,” she said.

In addition to Huffington Post's focus on politics, Pillay said the site's news offering extended to lifestyle topics as well.

“How do you be a parent, how do you go through a divorce, how do you go through a marriage, how do you make great food. It’s just about how you live your life and we think that’s important and we cover it in as much detail as we can,” Pillay added.

The Huffington Post South Africa ‘Voice’ section further offers readers an opportunity to engage with content on the site. 

“We really do want to be as inclusive as possible and have a real conversation going about everything we do in South Africa,” Pillay said.

Pillay (32) has held numerous leadership roles in top publications across the country including editor-in-chief of the Mail & Guardian and working at News24 before focusing on digital journalism and consultancy work.

Pillay said she felt privileged to be at the helm of the website. 

“It is a great privilege to be chosen as the editor of Huffington Post South Africa. It really is a dream job - a once in a lifetime opportunity. I think that any South African journalist would have jumped at the opportunity and I am very grateful that Media24 chose me,” she said. 

The Huffington Post already has a large audience in South Africa, with nearly 750 000 unique visitors per month, according to comScore.

“South Africa’s rich and politically engaged history has demonstrated a strong desire for people to have a place to express their voice and opinions,” The Huffington Post CEO Jared Grusd said in a statement. 

“Having been born there, I’m especially proud to say that HuffPost is now that destination. We hope our platform can help people lead better lives, make more informed choices and build stronger communities,” he added.

* Fin24 and Huffington Post South Africa are both part of 24.com, a Media24 company.

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