BuzzFeed vs. Time, USA Today and MTV

Pair of Atlantic editors draw up some informative historical context.

Our headline is, essentially, the summary of today’s extremely informative bit of historical contextualizing by Adrienne LaFrance and Robinson Meyer.

The bylined Atlantic writers do a great job of reminding how BuzzFeed’s rise to a 200-million-monthly-uniques behemoth has antecedents in the media world. They also come up with some reasons why Jonah Peretti’s now profitable company might be more durable. These include the avoidance of going after a single demographic, and… diversity:

It helps that BuzzFeed’s own staff is anything but homogenous: Its editor of news, Shani Hilton, has led the most successful newsroom diversity initiative in recent memory. The diverse make-up of the editorial team is a major force shaping BuzzFeed’s coverage — a fact that’s made explicit by editorial leaders but also clear from its early coverage of same-sex marriage, its ongoing coverage of immigration and other issues.

BuzzFeed makes it look easy, but as senior associate editor LaFrance and associate editor Meyer detail, it’s anything but. They also, rightly, characterize the recent Dove and Monopoly post deletions as a minor blip.