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Late last night, the news that Politico writer Ben Smith would be joining viral content site BuzzFeed as its new editor-in-chief sent waves through the media sphere. The partnership seemed unlikely, to say the least: Smith, who joined Politico at its launch five years ago, has made a name for himself as one of the site’s top bloggers on politics and media news. BuzzFeed, meanwhile, has made its own reputation as a source of cute animal photos and Web memes.
But according to BuzzFeed co-founder Jonah Peretti, the site's grand plan to add original reporting to its viral offerings is part of a natural progression.