CHARLOTTE, N.C. New media mogul Arianna Huffington has been a fixture at the Democratic National Convention, appearing around Charlotte in support of entrepreneurship.
The co-founder of the Huffington Post spoke with the Observer after participating in a Tom Brokaw-led panel with music, artist will.i.am and actress Rosario Dawson highlighting job creation.
Her responses have been edited.
Q: Why is job creation an important topic for you?
I am an immigrant to this country who’s lived the American Dream and was given a lot of opportunities. As the mother of two college-age kids, I see the danger of young people graduating from college and not being able to get a job, and being burdened with tens of thousands in loans.
I feel that as a society, and those of us in the media need to do our part to jumpstart job creation.
I don’t expect big solutions to come out of Washington anytime soon. What am I going to do? Just wait by the sidelines for something to change?
Q: What role do large companies like AOL have in this?
We are putting the spotlight on small companies here because they need the media attention more than anyone else. But we all have a responsibility. Big companies are sitting on a lot of money claiming “uncertainty.” They have a responsibility, too.
Q: What is the Huffington Post’s role in the political process?
The Huffington Post political coverage, we call it “beyond left and right,” meaning there are certain issues that we care a lot about and cover religiously (including) the jobs crisis, foreclosures, the war in Afghanistan. Maybe calling to end the war in Afghanistan is in many people’s minds a liberal position, but there were people at the Republican convention advocating it.
We want to demonstrate that a lot of the big problems of our time are not easily definable as “left” or “right.”
Q: Is the media giving too much importance to political conventions?
I think it would be great if they wrote about things other than just the process stories. It’s really like its 15,000 journalists in search of a story.
I think job creation, including here in Charlotte, is a great story. All the entrepreneurs in Charlotte is a great story.
I think there are a lot of stories that the media can tell that give people a bird’s-eye view of what is happening beyond the obvious stories, analyzing the speeches to death.
Q: How do you like Charlotte?
I love it. I love it. Even with the intense weather. The downpour, and then it’s hot. … But it’s in a fabulous state.