Yesterday, The Huffington Post announced the creation of the Ferguson Fellowship, a partnership with the Beacon Reader to enable a citizen journalist to “monitor the activity of the local and county police forces once the national spotlight dims” and “learn the intricacies of public records requests in an effort to divine the funding sources and uses of military gear in the county.”
Today, HuffPost Washington bureau chief Ryan Grim and HuffPost Ferguson Fellow Mariah Stewart went on HuffPost Live to respond to criticisms. HuffPost tells FishbowlDC that critics of the crowd funded fellowship – The Guardian’s Alex Koppelman (via this tweet), Jim Romenesko (via this post), and AdAge’s Simon Dumenco (via this article) – were invited on as guests by producers, but all declined.
“Sure, the criticism is fair, but we are seriously investing in it,” said Grim. “Either it was going to be this way, or we weren’t going to be able to have someone on the ground…I think sophisticated readers understand that this is not something any news organization is going to do for the purpose of profit, yet they still want it for the public good and they want to contribute.”