Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Rise of BuzzFeed

Matt Yglesias at Vox noted an interesting blurb in the latest edition of Harper's Magazine yesterday. The blurb details the way the NYT has described BuzzFeed over the years and reflects the changes in its relevance to the news media.

Buzzfeed's rise to fame and fortune can be tracked surprisingly effectively by the different ways the New York Times has described it over the years:
Of course the descriptive matter changes over time in a way that tells a story. But the real thing to pay attention to when reading the New York Times is the use of the indefinite article ("a") versus the definite article ("the"). When the Times describes something with an indefinite article, they are signaling that it is perfectly okay for you to not know what they are talking about. When an institution really hits the big time, however, the definite article takes over in a clear sign that as a respectable member of society you ought to already know what they are talking about.

1 comment:

  1. Linking to this- I was looking at the New York Times and I thought it was interesting how the blue/black or white/gold dress received so much reverb that it went from Tumblr (where it was apparently originally published) to Buzzfeed, then to being analyzed in the science section of the New York Times. This acts as an example of how more prominent institutions are now looking to other sources and websites that were previously disregarded.

    If anyone wants to take a look at the article, it can be found here: