Buzzfeed publishes new editorial standards

The viral news site recently shared the guide in order to keep its writers, journalists and editors accountable. Does the move seem sincere, though? 

In this clickbait age of media consumerism, it’s fair to ask whether any of these ridiculous websites have any shame—let alone standards—when it comes to publishing.

Leading the inanity revolution in our media is BuzzFeed, which ironically enough is now espousing “standards for a new generation of media.”

Cue the collective eye roll from every actual journalist still left in the U.S. (there must be dozens!)

Indeed, BuzzFeed has issued an editorial standards and ethics guide “to keep BuzzFeed’s writers, reporters and editors accountable to our readers.”

I hope they have a good maintenance crew because this document is overflowing with irony. Mind you, this comes from the same company that made its mark by using images with seldom even a hint of attribution and once used a GIF from Jurassic Park to explain the political climate in Egypt:

BuzzFeed has the opportunity to help shape a new set of standards for a new generation of media. We are offering these standards to our staffers and to our readers as a first attempt at articulating the goal of merging the best of traditional media’s values with a true openness to the deep shifts in the forms of media and communication. Our intent with this document is to provide context and support for staffers in BuzzFeed’s three distinct editorial divisions — News, Buzz, and Life — in making smart, responsible, and ethical choices as we tell the most honest, troublemaking, revelatory, heartwarming, gripping, and entertaining stories we can.

Will this Pandora be able to put all the world’s evils back into that proverbial box with a four-part ethics and standards document? Unlikely. Buzzfeed recognizes that it has created a monster, and perhaps its leadership hopes this document will distance the site from the shady online content practices that it created. (Image via)


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