Blog Post

@ NewFront: If Martha Were Starting A Mag Today; Arianna’s Ad Advice For BP

Twitter appeared to be down, so when Martha Stewart took the stage with AllThingsD’s Kara Swisher and Arianna Huffington, she was able to focus solely on the questions, jokes and advice the trio traded at Digitas’ NewFront event. Since it’s Internet Week in New York, the talk started about the meaning of “omnimedia” and whether print is just as important as digital. “If I were going to start a magazine today, it would be digital only. We’re in the process of creating an online-only magazine,” Martha said, though she didn’t provide any details. (Later, an MSLO rep said Martha was referring to a special digital edition of Martha Stewart Living called Boundless Beauty.)

Speaking of print, Arianna rejects the blame often heaped on her for hurting the newspaper business: “I didn’t kill newspapers. What happened to newspapers had nothing to do with Huffington Post. It had more to do with CraigsList,” she told Swisher. “An exciting hybrid is emerging. The way [NYT Editor] Bill Keller is talking about blogs is totally different today. When the Times Square bomb attempt occurred, the NYT sought comments from its users. Traditional journalism needed invigoration. The mainstream media missed the two biggest stories of the last decade: the Iraq war and the weapons.”

Arianna also had some advice for how media companies and agencies should use social media as a primary advertising vehicle. “We’ve seen a what [Digitas CEO] Laura Lang is calling a ‘post-advertising world.’ We’re seeing BP waste $50 million on ads about how much they ‘care.’ That is old fashioned manipulation of the public. They should have given that $50 million to the fishermen whose livelihoods have been lost and tweeted about it.”