November 5, 2012

BuzzFeed | Poynter | Paid Content
Former Spin Editor Steve Kandell will edit BuzzFeed’s longform content, the publication announced Monday. In a press release, Kandell said “the conversation-provoking longform journalism and profiles that have long been a staple of magazines are as vital as they’ve ever been, and I’m thrilled to help make this kind of writing a working part of the social web at BuzzFeed.”

Last month, Caitlin Johnston wrote about the buzz surrounding BuzzFeed’s advertisement for this job and suggested “the addition of longform stories to a site that posts photos of NFL players who look like Muppets can be jarring.” But BuzzFeed Executive Editor Doree Shafrir told her, “Why should we take for granted that a sort of quote, unquote ‘longform,’ serious piece won’t be shared on social media, as if the two things can’t exist in one ecosystem?”

Kandell edited Natasha Vargas-Cooper’s article about bath salts, a lengthy investigative piece and a rare non-music feature for the magazine, where I also used to work (but never with Kandell). Kandell was laid off by Spin in July, as the magazine’s new owner said it was trying to decide “exactly how print fits in with Spin’s multiple distribution points and growth initiatives.”

Jeff John Roberts writes for paidContent, “it will be interesting to see how the ‘native advertisers‘ that are BuzzFeed’s bread and butter respond to the site’s larger literary ambitions.”

Related: What BuzzFeed’s evolution says about the future of longform journalism | Spin layoffs, Time changes latest evidence of print magazines rethinking themselves

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Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at and managing editor of Washington City…
Andrew Beaujon

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