Huffington Post Explains Its Economic Model...Kind Of

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Yesterday, Runnin' Scared brought you news of Huffington Post's new move to publish university students' seniors theses on its college website (and not pay them), an idea that apparently first surfaced in 2010.

Of course, we had a few questions: How does the thesis publishing work, exactly? Do participating students get a byline? Do universities get any sort of credit? Are the theses published in full?

HuffPo reached out to us last night, and gave us some answers.

Here is what Mario Ruiz, "internet newspaper" spokesman, told Runnin' Scared:

"The idea for allowing college students to post their theses on HuffPost followed a dinner Arianna Huffington recently had with students at Penn State University, who welcomed the opportunity for more exposure for their hard work. Many looked forward to being able to engage our passionate community, which posts nearly six million comments a month. It's worth noting that The Huffington Post is an editorial hybrid featuring both a newsroom staffed with 496 full-time journalists and editors who receive salaries and benefits, and a group blog that is a distinct entity and consists of a platform that contributors can avail themselves of in order for their opinions to be heard by the widest possible audience. We look forward to the many conversations students will start around the topics in which they've invested so much time, effort and passion."

So there you have it: under the two-tiered, "hybrid" model, exposure is the new paycheck -- unless you have a job.

Follow Victoria Bekiempis @vicbekiempis.


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