Around the Wire: BuzzFeed’s $50M Opportunity, 22 Tips for Creating Niche Content & More Media News

Welcome to the latest installment of Around the Wire, PR Newswire’s round up of journalism, blogging, and freelancing stories from the past week.

Photo of BuzzFeed HQ by Scott Beale / Laughing Squid; used under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Photo of BuzzFeed HQ by Scott Beale/Laughing Squid; used under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

1. With $50M, BuzzFeed Growth Calls for Sharper Lines Between News and the Other Stuff (Nieman Journalism Lab)

With $50 million in new venture funding, BuzzFeed has the opportunity to clarify its different roles. Its content now will be more clearly split into three groups – Buzz for it’s socially-oriented content, BuzzFeed Life for lifestyle content, and BuzzFeed News. This distinction will help develop BuzzFeed’s internal groups and show its audience it has moved past listicles.

While Nieman delves into BuzzFeed’s latest developments, this essay on Medium by Felix Salmon explains how the media’s coverage of BuzzFeed demonstrates why the distinction is needed.

2. #IfTheyGunnedMeDown Challenges the Media and How It Portrays People of Color (Poynter)

Mainstream media’s coverage of teenager Michael Brown and his death at the hands of police has received pushback on social media. The hashtag #IfTheyGunnedMeDown challenged the images selected to portray Brown and the biased narrative that typically surrounds stories about black men and women.

In Philadelphia, readers’ tweeted reactions helped motivate the publishers to change the front page of Thursday morning’s Daily News not once, but twice overnight.

Poynter offers advice on how journalists can cover Ferguson and similar situations in a way that’s not just accurate, but provides true, multi-dimensional context to the story.

3. 22 Tips For Creating Great Content When You Don’t Have a Clue (KISSmetrics)

The challenge to create new — and fantastic — content never ends. And if you cover a niche, there may be days you stare at the computer screen thinking you’ve exhausted your topic. The next time that happens, check out this Copyblogger infographic on KISSmetrics that features 22 ideas for creating compelling content when you don’t have a clue.

4. Why Newsrooms Shouldn’t Do Video Just to Do Video (PBS MediaShift)

Videos on news sites aren’t producing direct revenue; however, their costs are justified by providing a “point of entry” for outlets’ online audience. For effective videos, news organizations need to have a strategy in place that identifies what news is best suited for video. PBS MediaShift looks at The Seattle Times, Vice, Frontline, and other newsrooms and examines how they’ve found success through video.

5. First Look Runs Headlong into Journalism’s Two Big Problems (Columbia Journalism Review)

When First Look Media was launched at the beginning of 2014, lofty expectations surrounded the venture. Backed by eBay billionaire Pierre Omidyar and featuring Glenn Greenwald’s The Intercept, First Look promised an innovative alternative to online media.

But a recent post by Omidyar acknowledges that “nine months in, First Look is still very much a startup.”  CJR reports that despite its funding and marquee name, First Look’s struggling with the same issues other news startups face: how to make money and how to be distinctive.

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Amanda Hicken is a media relations manager with PR Newswire for Journalists. Follow her at @ADHicken for tweets about the media, comic books, and her love of Cleveland.

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