A year after shutting down its dedicated news app, BuzzFeed News announced a total shutdown today.
BuzzFeed and its troubles
CEO Jonah Peretti announced the shutdown in the context of widespread layoffs across the company. Already the company is shedding 15 percent of its total workforce.
While layoffs are occurring across nearly every division, we’ve determined that the company can no longer continue to fund BuzzFeed News as a standalone organization.
BuzzFeed “has begun discussions with the News Guild,” the union that represents company staff, according to CNN Business.
The parent domain BuzzFeed.com and a separate property, The Huffington Post, remain in operation.
The company has previously announced it intention to use artificial intelligence to create new content.
Ben Smith, founding editor-in-chief, added this:
I do think it makes really clear the relationship between news publishers and social media is pretty much over.
NBC News had more of Jonah Peretti’s memo to staff:
I also want to be clear: I could have managed these changes better as the CEO of this company and our leadership team could have performed better despite these circumstances. I made the decision to overinvest in BuzzFeed News because I love their work and mission so much. This made me slow to accept that the big platforms wouldn’t provide the distribution or financial support required to support premium, free journalism purpose-built for social media.
BuzzFeed is the same company that published uncritically the Steele Dossier during the Presidential Election Campaign of 2016. That formed the basis of repeated charges that President Donald J. Trump was a “Quisling” in the service of Russia.
Several YouTube influencers, including “Jeremy at The Quartering,” released “Good riddance” videos celebrating BuzzFeed’s shutdown.
The general consensus of these influencers is that the company had an unsustainable business model and was in financial difficulties. In addition, many of these influencers reposed no confidence in the outlet’s editorial standards or respect for the truth.
Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.
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