BuzzFeed: “An Exciting Place To Work”

Scott Bryan working late into the night at BuzzFeed's London HQ

Scott Bryan working late into the night at BuzzFeed UK’s London HQ

BuzzFeed UK entertainment editor Scott Bryan explains why he loves the creative freedom offered to journalists at the fast-growing media company…

BuzzFeed is like no other place that I’ve worked before. I previously worked at The Times where (although I enjoyed it) departments tended not to know each other that well, and only a select few were chosen to write certain stories. At BuzzFeedUK, there’s none of that.

Here, we all get to write stories that we are interested in. There’s no pitching to editors or any hierarchy between writers: we have a short meeting where we let each other know what we are intending to write at the start of the day and then consult others for feedback and subbing when we’re about to publish. It’s a genuinely exciting place to work at the moment (the fact that everyone is lovely helps too).

We’re also different to other media organisations in the fact that we’re not limited by having to cover the entire news agenda in a mainstream way, like The Guardian or BBC News might. Instead we get to turn big news stories on their head or cover them from a different perspective – like the fun piece we did on whether Paddington Bear would be allowed into the country under current immigration laws, for example.

Another great thing about BuzzFeed is that, when it comes to covering stories, we can also be incredibly quick thanks to the technology we use. Our CMS (content management system) is incredibly user-friendly and that allows us to easily and quickly enhance our posts with lots of extra content.

We can add reliable sources to our posts such as quotes, images, YouTube videos, vines and embedded tweets all at the same time that a newspaper title might just get its written copy out. For example, with the recent story on the UKIP councillor who was suspended after blaming wet weather on gay marriage, we were able to include tweets, photos and a soundcloud recording to show readers the full story.

So What Skills Do I Need To Work At BuzzFeed?

If you want to be a part of BuzzFeed (and we are expanding quite a bit so it’s quite a good time to consider it), I would say that you need these things:

1. You Need To Use Social Meda – A Lot!

You have to be so into social media and the internet that you regularly receive complaints from friends and relatives for constantly checking it on your phone.

2. You Need To Use Social Media The RIGHT way

You shouldn’t just be following the main, ‘verified’ accounts and reading what they say without interacting. You should be on there sharing stuff you’ve come across, you should be engaging with with others and shouting your opinions IN CAPITAL LETTERS.

Why? Because you’ll learn how to find stories when big stuff breaks and you’ll understand better about what people care about when you’re about to write something.

3. Creativity Is Key!

You need to have lots of ideas. At BuzzFeed, whether you spend a few hours or a few days putting a post together, you need to be ready to move on to the next as soon as it is published.

4. Drive Is Vital

Finally, you need a lot of motivation. There’s no holding back on the number of stories we publish as long as they’re worth sharing, so you might need to be posting quite late at night or during the weekend in order to get your work done.

BuzzFeed is currently looking for a lifestyle intern and a picture desk intern. There’s also an editorial fellowship on offer. You can follow Scott Bryan’s online musings on Twitter @Scottygb

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