MidEastPosts is a news and opinion site that brings together the best bloggers writing in English about the Middle East.
The project, which launched in Dubai last October, aggregates the content of more than 30 bloggers ranging in countries ranging from Jordan to Tunisia.
Co-founder James Mullen says the site, inspired by the Arianna Huffington’s success, hopes to become a sort of regional version of The Huffington Post.
Mullen, who hails from Ireland, has lived in the Middle East since 2006. A communications professional with more than 20 years experience, he also worked at public relations multinational Hill & Knowlton.
He told IJNet that he was drawn to bloggers by the immediacy of their work: “The copy they write is often far more insightful, honest, passionate and relevant than the copy you will find in a newspaper.”
That said, he doesn't believe that all bloggers are journalists.
“We would never claim that bloggers are better than journalists, but that they offer an alternative view of events. They tend to be enthusiastic by nature and passionate about the topics about which they write. Some of our bloggers are in fact professional journalists who appreciate the freedom of expression that the site allows them."
Unlike the HuffPo, which launched with celebrities and a large group of other unpaid bloggers, MidEastPosts has humbler beginnings.
At this point, MidEastPosts publishes stories from about two dozen bloggers from around the Middle East. Most of contributors are unpaid, writing in exchange for exposure to a wider audience and more traffic to their personal blogs from the site.
MidEastPosts has opted so far not to have advertisers. Mullen says the site will definitely seek some financial support, but he doesn't want to overload the site with ads, concerned they might “put people off.”
An Arabic version of the site is in the works and expected to launch in a few months. Interested bloggers can get in touch with editors by clicking on the "Add your voice" icon on the upper left on the home page.
MidEastPosts can also be found on Twitter.
This article first appeared in IJNet's Arabic edition.