How Nap Rooms Could Change the Face of Journalism
It’s been just two short months since Huffington Post was acquired by AOL, and it appears that an industry-wide shake up could be afoot. Seasoned journalists are beginning to abandon high-profile positions at well-respected media companies for opportunities that are “too amazing to turn down” at Huffington Post.
So what’s driving the allure of the controversial online media hub? Greek cookies and nap rooms, apparently. The Wall Street Journal reports that Arianna Huffington has spent much of the last two months evangelizing AOL staff and preaching the “Arianna Way”. As part of her campaign, she’s bringing along treats and instituting nap time at work–a prospect that would be tempting to any journalist working inside a tired media company.
But there is a larger doctrine at work here, one that starts with operational freedom. What Huffington Post represents is a chance to effect real change in the future of journalism. An unlikely hybrid of old school journalism and irreverent new media, Huffington Post, and now AOL, are actively looking to recruit professional journalists. And they can afford to pay them. At the same time, they’re busy aggregating other people’s content and building out their network of pro bono bloggers.
Perhaps it’s precisely because they’re deviating from normal models of monetization that they can hire great talent, and that’s very telling of where the industry is headed. Ultimately, the best people are going to end up in environments where they can innovate and take home a regular pay check. From there, lasting work can be done to evolve dying models that don’t allow for forward progress. Or sleeping at the office.Image by http://www.flickr.com/photos/alexander0802/