BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti has slammed the internet as a “flaming dumpster” and admitted digital media has faced significant challenges in the last 12 months.
While he didn’t directly address the redundancies, his comments come several weeks after BuzzFeed was forced to lay off 15 per cent of its workforce as the company battles to achieve profitability.
“The internet is at a real crossroads right now. On one hand it can feel like a flaming dumpster. On the other hind it something we love that brings us joy and that makes us feel connected to other people in the world,” Peretti said, on stage at SXSW in Austin, Texas.
“In this particular moment we are at crossroads and we are really trying to figure out how to hit the right path to help the internet to fulfil its potential and benefit society and to bring people joy and bring people truth.”
He admitted this process has been “hard lately” with many digital media companies, such as BuzzFeed, having to reduce costs and staff numbers.
“A year ago I wrote a memo saying the media is in crisis. Unfortunately, it turned to be true and there has been a lot of troubles in the media industry,” he said.
These troubles aren’t just facing media as a business, but has spread to tech platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, which is impacting the wider society, Peretti argued.
“What’s happened in the last year is the crisis that started in the media has spread to the tech platforms,” he said.
If you think back to a year ago, the tech platforms seemed as if they were all powerful; they weren’t going to have a crisis, they were printing money, there were growing, they were hiring… And their business is still strong, but they are having big problems with the content that lives on their platforms.”
From anti-vaxxers, to trolls to racists, Peretti said tech platforms have little control over the dangerous content being spread.
His solution? For tech platforms to pair with digital media and share some of their burgeoning revenue to enable publications to create more good content to counteract the bad or untruthful.
“We can’t just police bad content, we have to produce good content.”
Peretti remains optimistic about the internet as a whole and said he has seen positive progress in brands playing a bigger role in producing trusted content.
“It’s popular and trendy now to quit social media,” Peretti concluded. “But we can’t give up. We have to keep fighting to make a great internet.”
The Real Media Collective (TRMC), the Australian industry association representing the interests of companies in the paper, print, publishing/media and related distribution sectors across Australia, has challenged Coles Supermarkets for using the environment as a reason in its announcement today outlining its plans to cease sending catalogues to Australian homes from September. In the announcement, […]
Network 10 is set to undergo a massive restructure, leaving a number of high-profile journalists out of a job, including Kerri-Anne Kennerley, Natarsha Belling and Tim Bailey, B&T understands. As first reported on The Sydney Morning Herald, the restructure was announced to staff on Tuesday. As part of the restructuring, the presentation of the weekday […]
Alcohol & Drug Foundation (ADF) has launched a new national health campaign with Campaign Edge aiming to tackle COVID-19 drinking. Funded by the Australian Government, Break the Habit reveals that it takes only around 66 days to form a habit – roughly the same amount of time many Australians spent in lockdown. It’s a fact most Aussies are […]
Paul Roach (pictured below) is a business strategist and coach who has worked with hundreds of SMEs across many industries to supercharge their cashflow. Roach is also author of the book Smarter Business Stronger Cashflow. In this guest post, Roach gives his top tips when the cash taps start to be turned off… Cashflow is like […]
Sydney and Melbourne based PR, Talent & Digital agency One Daydream has extended its client portfolio to include alcohol. The category expansion comes as One Daydream joins the agency roster of Pernod Ricard, working on a project basis to manage strategic PR and digital campaigns. The global drinks group boasts one of the most comprehensive and prestigious […]
Commtract today expanded its marketing, advertising and digital offering in response to a growing number of CEOs outsourcing to ‘gig-workers’ amid COVID-19. According to new research, 40 per cent of Australian CEOs are planning on outsourcing to freelancers in the contingent workforce. Commtract, which launched in 2016, has more than 4,000 communications experts on its platform, and has already placed over 800 roles. […]