I thought it would be a good time to share some quick thoughts on why we’ve invested so much in news over the past 3.5 years and why we will continue to expand our investigative journalism, foreign coverage, features, beat reporting and global news in the coming years.
News is the heart and soul of any great media company. News might not be as big a business as entertainment, but news is the best way to have a big impact on the world. A small team of journalists or even a single reporter can break huge stories that hold powerful forces accountable. News organizations that aren’t afraid to hit hard and do the big stories can punch way above their weight and play an important role in culture, society, and the political process (and have a tremendous amount of fun in the process).
News is also becoming an increasingly good business. News benefits from the major shifts that are happening in the tech and media industry right now: social, mobile, and globalization. News is inherently social — people love to talk about the news, and now social networks enable this watercooler conversation at a global scale. News is timely and expires quickly; there is always something new to check, driving massive repeat engagement for social and mobile services. And unlike in print media, news can fluidly spread globally on the web, which is why BuzzFeed News has invested in a global network that can collaborate to file stories for local and global audiences. Journalism reaches a larger audience than ever before and news organizations have more leverage and a bigger impact than in any point in history.
Having a great news organization has a positive effect on BuzzFeed’s entire culture and makes the whole organization better. Even our team members who work on entertainment content or on the business side are proud to work at a company that is breaking big, important stories. It is inspiring to be part of an organization with reporters doing work that helps shut down ISIS oil smuggling across the Turkish border, exposes sex abuse at an elite private high school, or shines a light on battered women who are wrongly imprisoned. That kind of work pushes all of us to do our very best work and aim high, and we plan to keep pushing.
In short, news is good for the world, it’s good for business, and it’s good for our company culture!
Finally, a big congratulations to everyone who worked so hard to create and launch the BuzzFeed News app! Well done!