In today’s society to understand the internet is to understand the world.
Journalism has faced many industry shifts due to technological advances. The companies or reporters who adopted those advances into their work were often times mocked until what they were doing started to work.
Buzzfeed is a perfect example of such a company. Buzzfeed, according to The Atlantic, is the only modern news company that truly understands how to use the internet as its medium which is why it is the most successful company as of now. Buzzfeed started in 2006 as a small start up that wanted to find and publish pre-viral content online. In the past couple of years the company has experienced ridiculously large growth and now gets 78 million visitors a month. This exceeds visitors to the New York Times by 21 billion.
Buzzfeed’s content has evolved along with its internal growth. The company has now achieved a unique balance between tabloid style entertainment and hard hitting and dependable news. These two styles are typically at odds with each other within the journalism industry as outlets choose to stick with one style or the other. For some reason many of the most popular news outlets stray away from gossip entertainment because they feel it makes them look less credible. I argue that Buzzfeed is proving this theory to be false. It is Buzzfeed’s inclusion of both styles that make them more credible to the public. The focus on solely hard hitting news creates the perception that news outlets like Fox News or CNN will do anything to find and/or create a story. Buzzfeed has avoided looking like a cut throat member of the industry fighting for controversial news topic to bring in readers by creating the perception that they publish what they find interesting no matter if its hard news or not.
Buzzfeed has also made a name for itself with its emphasis on social justice reporting. Its’ News section typically includes several articles addressing social issues that are currently affecting today’s youth, who happen to be their primary audience. For example Buzzfeed has been covering the student protests in Missouri and the trend of racism on college campuses.
Buzzfeed has quickly become one of the most used news sources by the millennial generation. It has done this by ignoring the tension between entertainment and news and by focusing on social justice based reporting.
Meyer, Adrienne. “The Eternal Return of BuzzFeed.” The Atlantic. April 15, 2015. Accessed November 13, 2015. http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2015/04/the-eternal-return-of-buzzfeed/390270/.
Honor Code: I have acted with honesty and integrity when producing this work and am unaware of anyone who has not.