The Buzzfeedication of journalism? How traditional news organizations are talking about a new entrant to the journalistic field will surprise you!

Edson C. Tandoc, Joy Jenkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations

Abstract

Guided by the framework of field theory, this study analyzes how traditional news organizations perceived, defined, and represented BuzzFeed, a website that rose to online fame through aggregation of funny memes and cat videos but has since started producing investigative and long-form journalism pieces, heralding its formal entry into the journalistic field. Four themes emerged from the analysis. First, traditional news organizations demonstrate ambivalence in defining BuzzFeed. Second, traditional news organizations invoke journalistic doxa in their representations of BuzzFeed, to some extent demonstrating how they recognize BuzzFeed as having entered the journalistic field. This is consistent with the third theme, where traditional news organizations problematize BuzzFeed's forms of economic and cultural capital. Finally, despite some degrees of uncertainty, traditional news organizations seem to positively welcome BuzzFeed's entry into the journalistic field, both as a transformative force and as a potential ally for preservation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)482-500
Number of pages19
JournalJournalism
Volume18
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2017

Keywords

  • Bourdieu
  • BuzzFeed
  • Capital
  • Field theory
  • Journalism
  • Online journalism

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