Buzzfeed: Is it starting to become a reliable news source?

As I sit in class throughout the day, I find myself gazing around at the laptop screens facing me. I see a lot of random websites open instead of students taking notes–Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, ESPN, and…Buzzfeed.

I’m starting to use the website more often myself, and while it used to be a fun website to find some great use of GIFs and humorous lists like “20 Ways You Can Tell You Grew Up in the 90’s” and “15 Signs You Did a Musical in High School”, you can now find informative posts like “Complete Video and Transcript of Obama’s Address to Nation on Syria Crisis.”

There are stories on everything, including recipes, tech articles, geeky lists, funny things, sad things, and thought-provoking content.

buzzfeed

More and more people are turning to Buzzfeed as an actual news source, which may or may not have been the original goal of the site. The tagline of the website states: “BuzzFeed has the hottest, most social content on the web. We feature breaking buzz and the kinds of things you’d want to pass along to your friends.”

Does this necessarily translate to breaking news? Does it mean we should all turn to Buzzfeed before CNN? What will be faster, getting a CNN Breaking Alert sentto your iPhone or jumping onto Buzzfeed?

There are some great photo collections on the website, like “Photos of Children Fighting in Syria That You Must See,” that definitely have some different content than you would find on a standard news site (at least in this format).

I feel that while Buzzfeed is a fantastic tool to find “28 Dogs Who Are So Confused Right Now” and “16 Reasons Why Gin is the Best,” it might be dangerous for everyone to jump on that bandwagon before they read and rely on other credible news sources prior to Buzzfeed.

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7 responses to “Buzzfeed: Is it starting to become a reliable news source?

  1. (aka Kayli)
    It’s hard to say whether Buzzfeed is newsworthy/dependable or not, mainly since it’s such a complex collection of media. The Miley Cyrus VMA breakdown (yuck) is one click away from important news stories–or at least satirical versions of news stories (like this gem: http://www.buzzfeed.com/bennyjohnson/obama-asks-the-hill-to-bomb-syria-as-explained-by-the-hills). “Real” news gets muddled in the mix, so I don’t think it should be someone’s sole news source. But if someone learns something important while being entertained by cat GIFS, I’m all for it.

  2. Another important thing to remember about BuzzFeed is that anyone can post as an author in its Community section. At first glance, it looks like most of the content on the community page (http://www.buzzfeed.com/community) is funny, entertainment content; but those same users could post “breaking news” articles as well. In my opinion, the presence of the community page lowers BuzzFeed’s overall credibility, particularly when it comes to “real” news. If I can’t tell whether the article was written by BuzzFeed reporter (how much reporting do they actually do, anyway?) or a rando poster, I’m not going to trust the source.

  3. I’m aware that Buzzfeed does news, but I have never logged on for that purpose. I have CNN for that. Right now, I have a post open on my browser entitled “The Baltimore Orioles Brought Their Dogs To Work And It Was Adorable.” Not exactly news. I don’t know if I can trust a site that gives you “The Best Moments From 2 Chainz’s MSNBC Appearance” to report on the crisis in Syria. That being said, I probably spend too much time because it is quite entertaining. Entertainment, not news.

  4. Since Buzzfeed started out as a site dedicated to “social content” and “breaking buzz” I have a hard time trusting the site as a credible news source. If Buzzfeed completely changed it’s image and wrote a statement saying “we will work to give our readers the most up-to-date world news”, I might reconsider. With the Syria articles mixed in among all of the other funny and random pieces, I would not feel comfortable getting my facts on world news from Buzzfeed. I think putting a face to a name also helps readers trust news sources. When well-known ABC or CNN correspondents put up videos and articles on the networks’ websites, I am inclined to trust in their reporting more than a Buzzfeed reporter who might not have any journalistic credentials.

  5. I think that Buzzfeed is great and valuable for entertainment aspects, but I’m not sure if I’m ready to accept it as a reliable news source. I don’t deny that Buzzfeed is posting more items that are “news worthy,” but I think that most consumers don’t view the material as credible. If I see something on Buzzfeed, I check the facts from a news source that I find reliable. On the other hand, I’ve seen some great post on Buzzfeed that show images on news events, but I worry how Buzzfeed gets those images. Somehow I doubt that they are taking those pictures themselves, but I could be wrong.

  6. I definitely agree that we are starting to turn to a wide variety of sources for our “news.” If it weren’t for Buzzfeed, I wouldn’t catch some of the global events that were going on. The humorous posts there spark me to look up the real story and follow it. We do have to be cautious, however, to watch for parodies or exaggeration stories that many sites like BF are known to produce every once in awhile.

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