Is the Huffington Post Reliable?

With all of the different information outlets available on the Internet today, it's important to know which ones are credible and worth sticking with, and which ones are full of baloney and are better off avoided.  So how does the Huffington Post stack up in terms of trustworthiness?  Is it a reliable source for news?

The short answer is: "sort of".  The long answer, which we went over somewhat in our Huffington Post review, is: whether or not the Huffington Post is credible depends on what kind of content you're looking at, as well as your own point of view.  We'll explain what we mean below.

So, how reliable is the Huffington Post?

There are three major factors that contribute to the credibility (or lack thereof) of the Huffington Post.

1.  It's more of a news aggregator than strictly a newspaper.

Despite the fact that the Huffington Post calls itself "the Internet newspaper", it's really more of a news aggregator instead.  What this means is that, while it has its own staff writers who publish stories occasionally, quite a bit of its news is taken from other news outlets.  These include ABC, BBC, the Associated Press, Reuters, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and CNN.  (A full list can be found at the bottom of their website).  So at least some of the content that you read on the Huffington Post will be written by accredited journalists, and you can usually trust these stories.

2. It's allegedly influenced by Arianna Huffington's political background.

Editor-in-chief Arianna Huffington has publicly stated that the articles that appear on the Huffington Post are "a reflection of our traffic, our brand, and the fact that we are increasingly seen as an Internet newspaper", and not a product of the Huffington Post being "positioned ideologically in terms of how we cover the news."  However, there are many who notice (or at least believe) that the stories selected for the Huffington Post often reflect a progressive liberal-socialist (i.e. "left-wing") political point of view, as opposed to a socially-conservative traditionalist (i.e. "right-wing") political point of view. 

Many also claim that the Huffington Post was intended from its creation to be a "left-wing" alternative to "right-wing" news aggregators such as the Drudge Report, especially since Arianna Huffington has been a politically-active author for most of her career.  What this all means is that you should be conscious of the fact that, like in many modern news media outlets, what you read on the Huffington Post may not be showing you all sides of the story.

3. Not all of its content is written by professional journalists.

While much of the Huffington Post's content is written by their staff writers and journalists from other accredited news organizations, a significant portion of it is not.  Much of this content includes opinion and editorial pieces, often in the form of online journal entries (known as web log — or "blog", for short — posts).  Some of these are written by experts who are greatly respected in their corresponding fields of work, and thus are fairly reliable.  However, many others are written by (Internet) celebrities, media departments of non-journalistic organizations, and other guest writers.

Therefore, the credibility of these pieces varies greatly, and — as mentioned above — may not tell all sides of the story.  In particular, the Huffington Post has received criticism from the scientific community (and some other media outlets) for how it has handled the coverage of certain health-related topics, such as the safety of vaccinations and alternative medicine.

The bottom line

Our best advice to you while reading the Huffington Post is to be skeptical without being cynical.  That is, you don't have to (nor should you) take everything that you read on there as a bunch of nonsense.  You just have to be aware that the information may be factually correct, but the way that the author has written the piece may just be one way of interpreting the information.

The author's background may have a bearing on their viewpoint, such as if they're a teacher, politician, journalist, or student.  Due to space constraints, certain information about a story may be left out in favour of other information.  The people who comment on a story may fill in some of the blanks and give a balanced perspective, or they may not.

The bottom line is that it is very hard — if not impossible — for any news story to be completely objective and unbiased.  So it's okay to think a little deeper about what you're reading, ask questions, and perhaps even consult other sources if something seems confusing, vague, or one-sided to you.

Huffington Post Review

Will the Huffington Post become your new favourite source for daily news?  Read some of its upsides and downsides, and then decide for yourself.


  • Read for free — The Huffington Post is free to use; you don't have to pay any money to read its articles, or to sign up for an account.

  • There's a niche for just about everyone — In addition to having common newspaper categories such as "Politics", "Sports", "Science", "Religion", and "Horoscopes", there are specialty ones for things such as environmentally-friendly living, rethinking and redefining leadership and success, and minority viewpoints.  Some sections are tailored to issues surrounding specific demographics, including teenagers, religious adherents, Latinos, blacks, and even older adults like you!

  • Credible news from the authorities — The Huffington Post uses trusted news sources such as Atlantic Magazine, the New York Times, the BBC, CBS, CNN, the Washington Post, and others.  It also features columns from respected celebrities and experts-in-their-field, so the information is trustworthy more often than not.

  • Support for news from near and far — The Huffington Post has editions for several major American cities, if you're looking for news that's closer to home.  The Huffington Post also has several international editions, so you can keep up with news around the world.  This is especially useful if you're not originally from North America and want some perspective on what's going on in your mother country.


  • Read all about… this product? — Since the Huffington Post is free, you will see advertisements on the website.  The commenting system also goes through Facebook, which some people find intrudes into their privacy.

  • There's always more than one side to a story — There are those who believe that the content on the Huffington Post is intentionally biased.  Specifically, there are claims that news articles and commentary pieces on the Huffington Post are either selected or written from a "liberal" or "left-wing" political point of view and try to discredit or argue against "conservative" or "right-wing" political points of view.  Know that you may not agree with everything that you see on the Huffington Post, and that its users may not agree with everything that you believe or have to say.  To be fair, many other journalistic outlets have their biases, too; just know that how the Huffington Post or any other news source presents a story is only one way of looking at it.

  • Live your life, not someone else's — There are concerns that some content (mostly opinion pieces) on the Huffington Post may advocate, or dismiss criticism of, potentially unsafe lifestyle choices.  These include refusing vaccinations and experimenting with alternative medicine not sanctioned by the scientific community.  Just like with any website that offers health advice, the Huffington Post is not the final word when it comes to your well-being.  Be sure to discuss any potential lifestyle changes with your healthcare professional before going ahead with them.

The Bottom Line: 7/10

It's difficult to rate the Huffington Post on its usefulness because it's such a polarizing website; you either love it or you hate it.  In general, its interface is easy-to-use, it has content on a broad variety of news topics, and it gets its information from mostly-reliable sources.  However, there are those who have complained that the website has an intentional bias, not only in its content, but in the types of editorials that are published comments that are allowed on articles.  Others have more generally complained that the Huffington Post is overly intrusive with its advertisements and the information it requires from you in order to set up an account, or that the comment review process is too slow.

Whether or not you decide to use the Huffington Post will largely depend on whether or not you like the tone of its content.  If you do, great!  If you don't, you can try a major news outlet like CBC, BBC, CBS, NBC, or CNN.  You can also try a "conservative" or "right-wing" alternative such as the Drudge Report (the Huffington Post's main rival).

What is the Huffington Post?

Created in May of 2005 by Arianna Huffington and her colleagues (hence the name), the Huffington Post calls itself "the Internet newspaper".  It features news stories from trusted journalistic outlets, as well as personal observations and opinions from reporters, politicians, celebrities, and various other experts and specialists.  All of these are on a variety of topics, including politics, business, entertainment, environmental issues, health and lifestyles, and technology.  It became the first Internet-only media company in the United States to win a Pulitzer Prize (for journalism, literature, or music) in 2012.

As the Huffington Post has expanded, it has launched several branch editions.  They include:

  • Local Versions: If you're looking for news closer to home, the Huffington Post has editions tailored to several major cities and regions worldwide. The U.S. version, for example, includes editions for Chicago, Washington (D.C.), Denver, Detroit, Hawaii, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, and San Francisco.

  • International Versions: If the United States aren't where you're originally from and you want to get caught up on affairs in your home country (or are just curious as to what's happening in other parts of the world), the Huffington Post has national editions for several countries and geographical regions.  These include the Middle East, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Spain, France, Greece, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, northwestern Africa, and the United Kingdom.

  • Vertical Versions: The Huffington Post also has several special editions dedicated to representing the views of different demographics.  These include the LGBT community, teenagers, women, Latinos, religious adherents, and even older adults like you!  See our HuffPost 50 tutorial for more information.

How does the Huffington Post work?

  • Get on the website and select your edition and/or region to get news that hits closer to home.

    Select a national or regional edition of the Huffington Post

  • The Huffington Post has both the latest news stories and insightful editorial pieces from the experts, covering all manner of topics.  Choose and read what speaks to you.

    Choosing to read a Huffington Post article

  • Search for specific pieces on the Huffington Post by publishing date, author, or whether they're news stories or editorials.

    Huffington Post search results

  • Sign into your social media accounts and share Huffington Post pieces, or tell the Huffington Post community what's on your mind by leaving comments through Facebook.

    Commenting on Huffington Post articles


Now, let's follow the journalistic credo of "trust, but verify" and review the pros and cons of the Huffington Post before we get started with it in our next tutorial.