Few media organizations get as jubilantly jiggy with the juxtaposition as BuzzFeed. And so, we applaud The Independent media editor Ian Burrell for mining that duality throughout his weekend piece on the Jonah Peretti juggernaut.
It’s not news that BuzzFeed’s Fifth Avenue headquarters have meeting rooms named after various page-view-tastic felines. What is news however is how jarring a backdrop this nomenclature can be when a visiting journalist dials up a certain company staffer:
There is the “Winston Bananas Room,” dedicated to a moggy with an extraordinary down-turned mouth, and I am sitting in a space dedicated to the “NoNoNoNo Cat” that I later observe on a YouTube clip that has had more than 10 million views. It was an experience I doubt I will ever forget. Look it up…
Shortly afterwards, and still sitting in the “NoNoNoNo Cat Room,” I find myself talking on the phone to the award-winning investigative reporter Mark Schoofs, one of BuzzFeed’s most important recruits. Schoofs won a Pulitzer Prize for an eight-part report on the AIDS crisis in Africa, published in The Village Voice, and went on to work for 11 years at the Wall Street Journal before heading to ProPublica, the highly-respected and philanthropy-funded organization which produces investigative journalism in the public interest. Now he is at BuzzFeed, a site that was last week running headlines such as “The 27 Most Comforting Feelings in the Whole Wide World.”
Giving Burrell the BuzzFeed tour – and BuzzFeed defense – was former NYT news-desk editor Lisa Tozzi. Read his full item here.
P.S. Proving that no cat’s-meow opportunity will be overlooked at BuzzFeed, please note the following entries in that “Comforting” April 9 Leonora Epstein article mentioned by Burrell:
7. A Warm, Purring Cat.
18. That Click, Click, Click Sound of a Cat’s Paws on the Floor.
21. The First Stretch of the Morning. [Illustrated with cute kittens GIF]