Popular news and entertainment website The Huffington Post will launch a Quebec edition at the beginning of 2012, the site’s founder and editor-in-chief Arianna Huffington announced Monday.
The launch of “Le Huffington Post” in Quebec will come about two months after a site with the same name starts in France in November.
The site has partnered with newspaper Le Monde for its France edition. In Quebec, the site will share content with AOL, which acquired the Huffington Post in February of this year.
Ms. Huffington said she has wanted to launch a Quebec site since the company arrived in Canada in May, and logistically it made sense to do it to coincide with the move into France.
“The timing was perfect. We decided to accelerate the Quebec launch since we are translating key parts of the site into French,” Ms. Huffington said in an interview.
The goal for the Quebec site, which will be based in Montreal, will be to have local journalists rooted in the province’s culture to produce a unique voice for the site, she said.
“As we expand internationally, it is essential for each edition to have a distinct feeling. And at the same time we have certain obsessions that run through every edition that makes up the HuffPo DNA.”
These “obsessions” include the fate of the middle class, the “squeeze generation” of young people who have recently graduated and are struggling to find jobs, and the importance of unplugging from technology and getting enough sleep, she said.
Since it launched in the United States in 2005, the goal of HuffPo has always been to bring “the best of the web” to readers and to “start a conversation” by commenting on content on the site, Ms. Huffington said.
The website, which has often been criticized for aggregating content from other websites rather than producing its own, recently reached more than one million comments since it started six years ago.
Canadians have already shown they are very engaged with the six-month-old Huffington Post Canada site, Ms. Huffington said, adding that page views have increased 40 per cent since May.
The company is currently recruiting editors, writers and unpaid bloggers for its Quebec launch mid-January.
After the France launch next month, Ms. Huffington said the company is looking at expanding into Spain, Turkey, Brazil and Italy.