Real News in the Making

This Buzzfeed article shows Hillary Clinton struggling with the New York subway turnstile, complete with gifs and a quirky commentary. Although Hillary Clinton is a candidate for the President of the United States currently, and this piece of information would not have significant effect on her candidacy, then why would Buzzfeed publish it as news?

Vice also published an article on Hillary Clinton’s subway struggles. Unlike Buzzfeed’s method of mincing news down to a level where the average citizen can easily eat and digest, Vice shoves down raw material down a reader’s throat. It ridicules Hillary and squeezes in information on the debate with Bernie Sanders before ending the article.

While Buzzfeed and Vice both emphasizes its importance in transparency, it’s arguably lacking in accuracy.

Buzzfeed is a whole new form of story telling. First, it started as a platform for bored office workers to fill their mind with useless yet entertaining information such as “19 Cats In The Exact Wrong Place,” and “22 Beauty Products That Are Actually Worth The Hype.” Many times the readers would point out false information that was published and Buzzfeed would just simply edit the article. Their mindset was “Truth would emerge through open trial and error”.

However, oddly enough, amidst the sea of articles on cats and beauty trends, Buzzfeed now features news. Actual news that shines Truth on significant social, political issues in the world. Of course, this raises the question of authenticity and accuracy of factual information. How could readers trust news on North Korea’s nuclear missile testing if the platform also features quizzes on “What is your spirit animal?”

Ben Smith, the editor-in-chief of Buzzfeed says, “I prefer to rely on smart reporters and on Twitter,” fixing stories as they develop.” Seeing as in modern news reporting, speed is essential for readers, Buzzfeed’s method of storytelling is reasonable. The modern audience craves the quickest news possible in large amount of quantity. Using trial and error and the massive amount of news received, this makes it easier to filter out the false information, eventually resulting in purified news.

Buzzfeed and Vice seemingly sits on the opposite ends of the spectrum in news publication, due to their vastly different audience, language and topic. However, Vice also uses a similar method of storytelling such as Buzzfeed’s. Instead of the traditional way of publishing news that distances the journalist’s wholehearted opinion from the Truth, Vice is known for sending their journalists to experience (somewhat) dangerous situations and write raw, personal articles.

Many traditionalist news platforms argues that new media’s form of news is not authentic and truthful as in their eyes, it is unedited and irrelevant. However, with the fast-paced society we now live in, Buzzfeed and Vice captures the short attention span of this generation and successfully weaves real news using various mediums of efficient story telling such as gifs, music and flashy presentation. Trust, authenticity and accuracy is not the matter of wrong or right. Although it is the news platform’s responsibility to provide the public with factually correct news, we also act as reporters, correcting news until it reaches its full potential.