Ever since the announcement in December that Politico’s Ben Smith was becoming editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed, the news aggregator famous for collecting everything viral has been making moves to get serious about generating original content that provides more opportunities for social commentary.
One example of this is last Friday’s post “Skeptical Third World Kid” Meme, Hate It Or Love It? that highlighted a trending issue while addressing stereotypes about third world countries and what other countries have done to help.
“I think that we are more like the New York Times than we are like Reddit,” Smith says. “We’re a news organization, basically.”
Last week BuzzFeed announced the launch of its new Washington, D.C. bureau with John Stanton as chief and Chris Geidner as senior reporter, who will be covering political and legal topics surrounding LGBT and marriage issues.
Geidner most recently worked as senior political editor for the Washington, D.C., LGBT news magazine Metro Weekly. Stanton, who has covered Congress for the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call for the past seven years, will launch the BuzzFeed bureau on July 9.
He says he was attracted to the idea of joining BuzzFeed because “they believe that people want to read quality journalism,” that it’s not just about being the first to break a story. Stanton will oversee coverage of Congress, the White House and the Supreme Court.
Along with opening a bureau in Washington (albeit not a physical one) Buzzfeed will be partnering with the New York Times to expand video coverage of the Democratic and Republican national conventions. The coverage will include video segments featuring Times opinion writers and columnists, along with pieces by BuzzFeed editor Smith and members of his political team.