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Buzzfeed enters print after announcing job losses

Whilst many are celebrating the release of the first print edition of Buzzfeed, others are questioning the move following job losses at the company.

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Buzzfeed publishes its first print edition. Photo: Tyler Kruse/Twitter

Buzzfeed has entered print for the first time in a one-off special edition, featuring the topical Momo character that was said to be encouraging young children to kill themselves online, which eventually turned out to be a hoax.

Copies of the edition were handed out for free in New York at Union Square, Penn Station and Herald Square.

In a statement, Buzzfeed says: “BuzzFeed, a company that was born on the internet and social media, is testing a new technology called print and unveiling a one-time, special edition BuzzFeed Newspaper, showcasing the latest news stories and favourite BuzzFeed content in an easy to consume mobile format.

"Fans all across New York will be able to check out the must-read stories without ever needing WiFi."

It’s kind of an attempt to do the internet in print

The stunt was the joint idea of Ben Kaufman, chief marketing officer and editor-in-chief Ben Smith who say they have “printed out the internet". The edition contained a lot of content that is traditionally viewed online, as the digital publisher decided to print GIFs in this newspaper.

Speaking from Union Square, Smith says: “It’s a print edition of some of the best stuff we’ve done… it’s kind of an attempt to do the internet in print.”

The free edition has garnered mixed reviews on social media, and whilst some are celebrating the love of print, others are pointing out the huge job cuts Buzzfeed announced to its news department earlier in 2019. More than 220 employees were made redundant – which is 15% of Buzzfeed’s total global workforce.

If you have a news story, email summer@linkpublishing.co.uk or follow us on Twitter to have your say.

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