I’m the first person to tell you how important high quality and serious journalism is. I believe journalism is something that is essential to a healthy and functioning society, which is one of the reasons why BuzzFeed, The Huffington Post, Vice and similar media organizations are so fascinating to me. I’m extremely interested in how journalism is changing and adapting to the digital age, and these online publications are a testament to how journalism is changing, not dying.
Something I’ve been interested in lately is the rise of email newsletters as viable and integral ways of getting the news. For example, The Skimm is a daily email newsletter marketed to busy, career-oriented women that launched in 2012 and has now become extremely successful.
Similarly, BuzzFeed recently launched a daily newsletter focusing on the most important news of the day. I get both of them, and BuzzFeed News is very similar to the Skimm, with less of a feminine lens. I’ve been very impressed by BuzzFeed’s newsletter and actually find it easier to digest and read quickly than I do the Skimm’s. BuzzFeed has been steadily improving their content on the news side which is something I’ve noticed more and more in recent months.
I decided to focus on BuzzFeed for this post. How, exactly is Israel approached on this web-based “news” service mainly known for listicles like “If Tinder Messages Were Motivational Posters” (#1 on the website right now)? I looked at two articles specifically. One is headlines “Israel Officials Shift Focus To Finer Points of ‘Inevitable’ Iran Deal” and one is headlined “Pro-Israel Democrat: I Expect The Administration To Stand With Israel At The U.N.” I was extremely impressed by both– they are both well-sourced, unbiased news articles that offer a seemingly complete take on the issues presented. BuzzFeed is known for fluffy content without real news value but I am very impressed by their continually improving news coverage.
An interesting trend I noticed in these stories is the sourcing of quotes from other sources, not just the journalist themselves. I think this is pretty interesting and I wonder why this might be– in some ways, I actually think this is a smart tactic. Telling the most complete story possible may not always just include quotes and facts you’ve collected yourself.
However, since BuzzFeed is known for unconventional storytelling, I set forth through their Israel tag to see what else I could find. A story called “Netanyahu’s Dire Warnings Of Arab Turnout Drive Rush To The Polls” discusses voter turnout and reaction to Israel’s latest presidential election two weeks ago. The story incorporates a Facebook post and a Tweet to tell the story, two additions very telling of the typical “BuzzFeed” story. However, I thought they actually added a lot of context to a very important story. Storytelling is no longer just through words: it is through tweets and photographs and videos and graphics, and BuzzFeed does this well.