In the last month, BuzzFeed has hired former Chicago Phoenix Editor-in-Chief Tony Merevick as a breaking news reporter, former Politico reporter J. Lester Feder to "travel the world writing about marriage," as Smith puts it, and brought on former Village Voice reporter Steven Thrasher as a contributing editor.
Chris Geidner, who anchored the publication's coverage of gay marriage earlier this year, will be BuzzFeed's legal editor, and Saeed Jones and Sarah Karlan are editor and associate editor, respectively, of its LGBT vertical, which mixes humorous coverage alongside entertainment coverage and hard news.
LGBT coverage is "a space we’ve always cared a lot about," Smith said. "Marriage, for instance, is something that our core 18-35 audience cares a lot about. What we're doing now is just deepening and broadening that."
The marriage story, Jones said by phone, is but one example of a LGBT story that resonates with readers whether they're bound together by a common identity or not. Jones said another story BuzzFeed has gone after is the 2014 Winter Olympics, which will take place in Sochi, Russia, a country that recently instituted an anti-gay "propaganda" law and where LGBT people frequently face violence. (more...)