Published on February 11, 2014 | by Ellen Thomas0
BuzzFeed UK editor: Print is dying ‘very, very slowly’
“The decline of print is happening very, very slowly,” according to BuzzFeed UK editor Luke Lewis.
Speaking as a guest lecturer at LCC, Lewis told the room full of young and aspiring journalists that the death of print is not something that they should worry about.
As the editor of the globally famous website that provides “news and entertainment for the social age,” Lewis also offered some well-founded advice to future journalists, including tips on ‘how to do journalism in a digital age.’
Launched in March 2013, the UK counterpart of the American website had 15 million UK users in January 2014 alone, while globally the figure hit 100 million. It now even surpasses The Huffington Post, The New York Times and Upworthy in terms of site traffic.
Lewis explained to the audience what it is that makes BuzzFeed so successful, with the key elements being accessibility, its use of both humour and data, compatibility on smartphones and also it’s focus on thinking visually.
“Make it shareable, image-led” and, most importantly, “don’t think about what everyone else is writing about. Think about what everyone is talking about,” he said.
Another of his key points during the talk was that images can work well for serious journalism too, citing one of BuzzFeed‘s most shared articles, 36 photos from Russia everyone needs to see, which was a series of pictures showing the brutality at a St. Petersburg gay pride march in 2013.
After the talk, Lewis spoke to Arts London News and reiterated recent Cudlipp lecturer David Walsh, who argued that UK libel laws are too tight.
Lewis said: “Although it’s not necessarily a problem for us at the moment, I can see the difference between here and the US and it might be a problem in the future. For example, last week the US site was posting a lot of stuff about Woody Allen that we definitely would not have been able to get away with here.”