It’s typically been fairly easy to describe what fake news websites are, and how they work: These sites publish stories that look and read like real news articles but are completely fake. They exist in order to earn money from ads.
That description works for many of the ever-growing number of these sites. But many of them are now evolving in order to find new ways to fool people, and to make money. Here are five things fake news sites are now doing differently.
BuzzFeed may have always felt like two things, especially to non-media types: a viral entertainment powerhouse, and a Very Serious news division. Now BuzzFeed the company is officially splitting into two divisions, one to focus on entertainment and the other on news. Both divisions will place a huge emphasis on (what else) digital video.
In a memo — first obtained by Vanity Fair — announcing the company-wide reorganization on Tuesday, BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti wrote:
Television isn’t dead; it isn’t even TV, as we’ve known it. Broadcast companies may be weathering for now the rise of platforms, the fractured nature of digital news consumption, the uncertainty of digital advertising models (name a trend, any trend) better than their newspaper peers, but there are plenty of signs of turbulence ahead, especially when it comes to local TV news.
Few would argue at this point that the email newsletter isn’t one of the most powerful ways for publishers to develop strong relationships with readers. What’s less clear is the best strategy to employ within those newsletters themselves.
This article is republished with permission from Watching Western Sahara, a collaboration between the WITNESS Media Lab and FiSahara to curate and contextualize online videos documenting human rights in Western Sahara. This is the first of a blog series on lessons learned and the tools and methods used. See curated videos on Watching Western Sahara Checkdesk and look out for a six month report on human rights as seen in curated eyewitness footage.
Here’s a sentence few would have expected to read in 2016, if ever: Gawker Media and Fusion are now owned by the same company.
Univision has purchased Gawker Media and all of its sites and assets for $135 million, according to a report from Recode, which has since been confirmed by both sides. With the bid, Univision beat out tech publisher Ziff Davis, which had made the initial stalking-horse bid. Those were the only major bidders for the company, Bloomberg reported earlier on Tuesday. (Lifestyle site Little Things also made a late bid for Jezebel’s assets, which wasn’t up for separate sale.) Univision won’t, however, take over Gawker Media’s lawsuit with Hulk Hogan, which is still ongoing.