BuzzFeed

BuzzFeed registered a cat to vote in a British election

Owing perhaps to its outdated reputation as a traffic-hungry upstart that hawked cat listicles for clicks, BuzzFeed has a deep and abiding relationship with domestic felines.

Although the Web giant now has a growing commitment to news, staffers remain fond of BuzzFeed’s legacy as a hub for all things cat. Conference rooms at BuzzFeed are named after famous Internet cats, and the company’s editor in chief has affirmed his commitment to providing “great, cat-led entertainment.”

But on Friday, BuzzFeed UK marked what must surely be a milestone in its repertoire of cat content when it deployed a tabby to go undercover for an investigative news story. Staffers registered Ned, a three-year-old feline belonging to BuzzFeed UK staffer Hayley Campbell, as a supporter of Britain’s Labour party, entitling him to a vote in the upcoming election. Read more

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As BuzzFeed urges no unions, sharp rebuttal from labor leader

Jonah Peretti, founder of BuzzFeed, cautioned workers against embracing unionization last week. The comments weren’t made in a vacuum, given moves by employees at Gawker Media, VICE, Salon and the Guardian to unionize in recent months. He suggested that unions represented a needlessly adversarial force and are more suited to other sorts of workplaces—more blue-collar, more assembly-line oriented—than a “new economy” upstart like BuzzFeed. And, for sure, his entrepreneurial creation is on the rise, as underscored by a $200 million investment from NBCUniversal, a unit of cable giant Comcast. Old economy stalwarts cringe with envy.

President of The Newspaper Guild, Bernie Lunzer

President of The Newspaper Guild, Bernie Lunzer

Bernard Lunzer respectfully disagrees with Peretti. He’s president of The Newspaper Guild, the largest union of media workers. He represents about 26,000 workers at about 300 different media entities, including workers at The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, St. Read more

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BuzzFeed announces $200 million investment from NBCUniversal

BuzzFeed | Re/code

BuzzFeed on Tuesday announced that NBCUniversal has invested $200 million in the social news outlet, confirming earlier reports that a major equity deal was in the works for the two media companies.

In a statement on BuzzFeed’s website, founding CEO Jonah Peretti said the investment will be accompanied by collaboration between BuzzFeed and NBCUniversal.

It’s a fascinating time for the media industry; social, mobile, digital, and broadcast platforms are converging to create new opportunities to connect with global audiences, and we’re excited to partner with NBCUniversal to combine our respective strengths to build the future of news and entertainment.

In July, Re/code’s Kara Swisher and Peter Kafka reported that NBCUniversal and BuzzFeed were on the verge of a $250 million deal that would allow the Comcast-owned company to “tap into millennial audiences.”

The investment is the latest vote of confidence in Web-only news organizations from major media companies, which in recent months have poured millions into digital startups. Read more

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Former Guardian head of news joins BuzzFeed

Press Gazette

Make that two Guardian staffers who have followed former Guardian.com Editor-in-Chief Janine Gibson out the door.

Stuart Miller, who was previously head of news at The Guardian, is joining BuzzFeed to lead its UK news operation, British media outlet Press Gazette reported Tuesday.

In a comment to Press Gazette, BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith hailed Miller as “one of the world’s great news editors” and noted that BuzzFeed was planning to further expand its presence in the UK.

Stuart is one of the world’s great news editors. Janine, Luke [Lewis, executive editor of Buzzfeed UK] and I are thrilled to have him head up our news operation in Britain as we continue to build out our editorial team.

The departure of some top talent from The Guardian comes after months of intrigue surrounding the replacement of former Editor-in-Chief Alan Rusbridger. Read more

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With BuzzFeed’s Cocoa Butter, ‘we’re creating another avenue to get our stuff out there’

On Tuesday, BuzzFeed launched new Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts called Cocoa Butter. In a staff memo shared with Poynter, BuzzFeed’s Heben Nigatu, co-host of the podcast “Another Round,” wrote about Cocoa Butter’s start and focus:

Hey y’all!

I wanted to let you know about a new distributed project called Cocoa Butter. As you may know, Cocoa Butter is already an internal lab started by Tracy Clayton that focuses on making fun stuff for and about brown folks. Or as I’ve been explaining to people, it’s for anyone who feels a ~spiritual~ connection to cocoa butter :) We have a lot of fun talking about everything and nothing together, and we want to extend that conversation to the public.

Under the umbrella of the social and distributed teams, Cocoa Butter’s accounts will be where you can catch up on everything from Beyonce’s latest wig snatch to Uncle Denzel to #BlackLivesMatter.

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News outlets vie for global audiences with translated stories

The New York Times published a two-part investigation into the city's nail salons in four languages.

The New York Times published a two-part investigation into the city’s nail salons in four languages.

In May, after more than a year of planning, investigating, writing and editing, The New York Times was almost ready to publish an investigation from reporter Sarah Maslin Nir that would reveal ghastly working conditions in nail salons throughout New York City. Almost.

It was the eve of publication. Elisabeth Goodridge, the deputy editor for the paper’s metro section, was lingering in the newsroom, waiting for the last elements of the story to come in. The article had been translated into three languages — Korean, Chinese and Spanish — but Goodridge had not yet received everything required for the finished product. She finally left The Times’ Manhattan headquarters at around 10 p.m. Read more

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5 times journalists should have been listening to BuzzFeed’s podcast ‘Another Round’

Screen shot, Another Round

Screen shot, Another Round


If you’ve listened in to BuzzFeed’s “Another Round With Heben and Tracy,” you might look forward to Tracy Clayton’s super-bad jokes or Heben Nigatu’s live-list reading or that moment near the end of the show when they both sound pretty drunk. For me, one frequent highlight comes when they talk about the media.

Clayton and Nigatu are writers at BuzzFeed and co-hosts of the podcast. Here’s how they described the podcast as it launched:

Another Round is basically happy hour with friends you haven’t met yet. Grab a drink and yell along with your preferred electronic device as we talk about everything from pop culture to squirrels to racism to sexism to male strippers to literally everything.

If you’re a journalist, some of the talk at happy hour includes finding out what’s behind a piece, how a headline was chosen and what it’s really like to cover a story. Read more

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BuzzFeed launches open-source news lab

Wired | BuzzFeed

On Wednesday, BuzzFeed announced a new project, “BuzzFeed Open Lab For Journalism Technology and the Arts.” The lab has been in development for the last six months and will be based in San Francisco, writes Mat Honan, BuzzFeed News’ San Francisco bureau chief:

When you think about media experiments, you probably think about advertising models or paywalls or, more recently, partnerships with companies like Facebook or Snapchat. But those kind of media experiments are deeply boring to pretty much everyone who doesn’t depend on ads for a paycheck. The logic of this new lab is: screw it, let’s fly drones. Drones with lasers. And more to the point: let’s build drones with lasers and show everyone how to make them too. We want to push the envelope.

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Meet Cafe.com, the political news site with a sales strategy

BuzzFeed

BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith on Thursday profiled Cafe.com, a news site that’s aiming to be a “blend between Vox, BuzzFeed, the New York Times, and Amazon.”

Here’s the pitch, as told by founder Vinit Bharara to Smith:

“We’re trying to create these big blocs of communities,” Bharara said. Rather than simply serve readers display ads, the challenge is to “act as their union rep, go to the brands, and figure out a mutually advantageous way” to sell readers products. In the case of Scary Mommy, that could be diapers; on Cafe, Bharara suggested he might connect readers to advocacy groups. The site’s revenue would come from vendors, not readers.

Media companies once dreamed of being the home base for engaged, passionate communities, but that has declined alongside the rise of mobile, and of Facebook and Twitter.

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‘Mad Men’ actor to BuzzFeed staffer: ‘I’m sweating like a rapist’

BuzzFeed | The New Republic | CJR

Paul Johansson, the actor who played sleazy ad man Ferg Donnelly on the AMC drama “Mad Men,” allegedly made several sexual overtures during a session with BuzzFeed staffers at the company’s Los Angeles office last month.

He was at BuzzFeed’s office to be recorded for an article published by the news outlet.

Johansson repeatedly touched Editorial Assistant Susan Cheng and asked her whether she ever took people into a meeting room to “make out with them,” Cheng writes:

Then, in the middle of the shoot — for which we asked Johansson to act out reactions to so-called dicks in the workplace — the actor made another comment, one we did capture on camera. “I’m not shy,” he said to my colleagues and me under the hot fluorescent lights inside the studio.

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