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2D: BuzzFeed

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Hold up! Before you read on, please read this...

This post was published more than 5 years ago

I keep old posts on the site because I often enjoy reading old content on other people's sites. Not everything that is old is bad. It can be interesting to see how views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have mellowed and matured.

But given the age of this post, please bear in mind:

  • My views might very well have changed in the 5 years since I wrote this post. I have written some very silly things over the years, many of which I find pretty embarrassing today.
  • This post might use language in ways which I would now consider highly inappropriate or offensive.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken; embedded material might not appear properly.

Okay. Consider yourself duly warned. Read on...

BuzzFeed is the incredibly popular site that combines humans and computer algorithms to curate viral content from across the web. It is not uncontroversial, receiving accusations of plagiarism on a reasonably frequent basis. But it is not the ethics of the site that my two chosen articles discuss this week.

The first article, by Eliana Dockterman at Time magazine, has the rather lovely title: How the news got less mean. It isn’t a long article by any means, but it discusses the interesting influence of social media and viral trends – as curated by BuzzFeed – on the type and tone of modern journalism.

The second article, by Mark O’connell at The New Yorker, also has a brilliant title, parodying those that often appear on BuzzFeed: 10 paragraphs about lists you need in your life right now. It discusses the impact of list articles, or “listicles” (ugh), on journalism.

So: two articles essentially discussing two different ways in which BuzzFeed affects journalism. The conclusion appears to be that the future of journalism is snappy and happy. This isn’t all bad news. But I am glad that there are those who also see the future in longform in-depth journalism, and even innovation in the sector, from approaches as diverse as Matter and NSFWCORP, and everything in between. But that discussion is probably for another day…

2D posts appear on alternate Wednesdays. For 2D, I pick two interesting articles that look at an issue from two different – though not necessarily opposing – perspectives. I hope you enjoy them!

This 2,071st post was filed under: 2D.

More posts worth reading

What I’ve been reading this month (published 6th October 2018)

What I’ve been reading this month (published 1st September 2018)

What I’ve been reading this month (published 2nd August 2018)

Chicken (published 15th May 2004)

Royal Mail strike: Quick fix (published 9th October 2007)

Leader of the free world? (published 5th January 2008)

Mini-Quiz (published 23rd September 2004)


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