BuzzFeed News, the digital media outlet known for its viral quizzes and entertaining listicles, announced on Wednesday that it would be shutting down its news division. The decision came as a shock to the industry, as BuzzFeed News had become one of the most successful and influential digital news organizations in the world.
Founded in 2006, BuzzFeed News was one of the pioneers of digital journalism, breaking new ground in the way news was reported and distributed online. The site’s mix of serious investigative reporting and lighter, more entertaining content quickly gained a large and loyal following, with many of its stories going viral on social media.
Despite its success, BuzzFeed News has struggled to find a sustainable business model in an increasingly competitive and crowded media landscape. The site relied heavily on advertising revenue, which has become harder to come by in recent years as more and more advertisers shift their budgets to social media platforms like Facebook and Google.
In a statement announcing the closure of the news division, BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti said that the decision was a difficult but necessary one. “We are incredibly proud of the journalism that BuzzFeed News has produced over the years, and we are deeply grateful to the talented reporters, editors, and staff who made it all possible,” Peretti said. “Unfortunately, the economics of the media industry have changed dramatically since we first launched, and we can no longer sustain the news division at the level of investment it requires.”
The closure of BuzzFeed News is a blow to the digital media industry, which has seen a wave of consolidation and layoffs in recent years. Many traditional news organizations have also struggled to adapt to the changing media landscape, with print newspapers and magazines facing declining readership and revenue.
Despite the challenges facing the industry, there are still many digital media outlets that are thriving, including Vice, Vox, and The Intercept. These sites have managed to find new and innovative ways to attract and engage audiences, using a mix of investigative journalism, opinion pieces, and more entertaining content.