Buzzfeed: Entertainment or News Source?

Photo by: Hannah Bruneman

Photo by: Hannah Bruneman

By: Hannah Bruneman

Buzzfeed is a growing collection of lists, quizzes and light news stories that pull students into a productivity-sucking black hole. Social media news feeds are covered with links leading back to the site so friends can find out what typeface they would be or can learn 17 ways to eat more Nutella.

What many people don’t know, however, is that Buzzfeed also reports on news articles that hold a much more serious tone. Amidst the light-hearted posts on the homepage on Wednesday, the top story was a live report of the Pennsylvania school stabbings. Both intrigued and confused with the heavy topic, I clicked on the link which actually left me well-informed about the incident.

And so I began to panic. Is this the end of Buzzfeed as we know it? Are they moving on to bigger and better things? Most importantly, how am I supposed to find out which HIMYM character I am if Buzzfeed is instead telling me about political and financial woes?!

As it turns out, Buzzfeed has been publishing news stories all along in their “just news” section. The more I thought about it, I was able to see the amazing potential hard-hitting news could be on a website famous for its entertaining content.

With Buzzfeed’s main audience being so young and disconnected to the real world, this could be the perfect platform to get our generation informed about real issues. They even write the articles in a way that caters to our shrinking attention span. The short, choppy writing style that the site perfected reads easily with pictures and screenshots of tweets to go along with the topic.

On the other hand, these news stories mixed with satirical content could get confusing. A person reading from the “just news” section could switch to an “entertainment” article and start to take the humorous content too seriously.

What do you think about combining entertainment and heavy news? Is it a bridge for our generation to become more informed, or is it a misunderstanding waiting to happen?

 

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3 responses to “Buzzfeed: Entertainment or News Source?

  1. I actually think it’s a really good idea to combine entertainment and heavier news. On several occasions, I know that I have found out about important events after seeing them on the Buzzfeed home page. I also like that I can skim through and get the crucial facts about a story without having to read a very long story or watch a long news cast. It lets me find out the information that I want and skip the information that I’m not interested in. While it may not be the best way to be an informed citizen, in my eyes, knowing something is better than knowing nothing.

  2. I love Buzzfeed and I think combining entertainment and heavy news is a wonderful idea that makes a lot of sense. Keeping in mind young people is not used to read the news everyday, and if they do is usually online and just the headlines, I think having the chance to read heavy news in a platform like Buzzfeed is going to help young people to be more informed.
    This web page receives millions of visits, most of them because it´s a good way to read something fun and forget about homework and study for a while. If all of those readers have the opportunity to read heavy news in the same platform they use to have fun, there is a big chance they are going to check out the “just news” section at least to know what it is about. Their news are written in a way that is attractive to young people and makes the articles easy to read. I think this combination is going to succeed.

  3. I’m glad to hear people think this is Buzzfeed moving in a good direction. After using the News section for a week now, I do think this is quality journalism they are putting out. Sure it’s not New York Times worthy, but it still had me reading and informed.

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