We want our readers to share – BuzzFeed Editor

Luke Lewis, UK Editor of BuzzFeed

Luke Lewis, UK Editor of BuzzFeed

BuzzFeed’s UK Editor says the popular blogging website is trying to make news content “more accessible and shareable” by reporting stories light-heartedly and interacting with the public.

The unique way that BuzzFeed reports news differs from traditional journalism, as its focus is on quizzes, polls, humour and most importantly, photographs.

Luke Lewis, 33, told Leeds Trinity University students: “Photos can do the work where a written piece might not.

“We use the number of images in the headline, so people don’t think it will take a full lunch hour to read.”

And Luke defended the use of photographs in BuzzFeed’s coverage of gay rights in Russian and the floods in Somerset. He said although the website focuses on humour, it breaks serious news stories for example, breaking the story of Tony Gallagher losing his job as editor of the Daily Telegraph.

Luke showed BuzzFeed's content to the crowd

Luke showed BuzzFeed’s content to the crowd

Since BuzzFeed launched in the UK last year, Luke has been responsible for building the audience and has emphasised the positive influence that social media has had.

Luke said: “Some things never change in journalism – getting a scoop is still important. By making articles sharable that means making them mobile friendly, as they are key to making things viral.”

As a new contender in the journalism market, BuzzFeed considers the Mail Online its biggest competitor. Luke believes the interest in “the world we are in” lies in easy, accessible entertainment but BuzzFeed refuses to do “snark”, or snide remarks.

He said: “Wherever people go for entertainment online is where our main competitors are. We encourage people to come up with funny and stupid ideas, and then use them – it’s key to our philosophy.”

He also stated how the headlines on a story are so important it resulted in one story gaining 5,000 hits whereas the identical story with a different headline was visited 750,000 times.

Luke added: “It’s really a sin to not care about headlines. If you’re a writer you obviously want as many people as possible to read your article.”

 

Luke’s entire talk:

 

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