BuzzFeed, the swiftly growing social news site, has decided it is time to move beyond top 10 lists, animal videos and political coverage. It is going foreign.
The site recently posted a hiring notice for a foreign editor that said BuzzFeed wanted "to build a new kind of national security and world news coverage."
Ben Smith, the editor in chief, confirmed that the foreign editor was the beginning of a new line of coverage. He said he expected to have as many as six reporters work with the new editor, with some in Washington, some covering topical issues and a couple based overseas, most likely in Cairo and Mexico City to start.
Mr Smith said adding more extensive foreign coverage was a natural step in the company's expansion, but he added that the timing was prompted by the Boston Marathon bombings. The resulting interest, he said, showed him the site was becoming a breaking news source for users.
"People have increasingly come to us for news like during the Boston bombings," he said. "Now we have an audience that wants to learn what's going on in the world."
BuzzFeed is following other digital sites that have added dedicated foreign correspondents. The Huffington Post has operations in Canada, Britain, Spain, France and Italy, with editions opening in Japan and Germany this year. While most of the employees are from media outlets that are in essence licensees, there are at least some Huffington Post workers at every site, said Peter Land, a spokesman for the parent company, AOL.
Still, it is not a common practice. Mashable, another news site, has employees overseas but they do not specifically cover foreign news. Instead they allow the Web site to track digital trends there. Mr. Smith said he hoped to use the foreign correspondents in imaginative ways - for example, to cover news on gay marriage internationally.
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