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?