BuzzFeed’s Smith to become NY Times media columnist
New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet and business editor Ellen Pollock sent out the following announcement on Tuesday:
We are excited to announce that Ben Smith, a relentless innovator who helped change the shape of modern journalism, will become our media columnist.
Ben not only understands the seismic changes remaking media, he has lived them — and in some cases, led them. He joined BuzzFeed as editor in chief in 2012 and built a newsroom of more than 200 reporters and editors, including international bureaus, content verticals and investigative teams that produced prize-winning projects.
His desire to experiment with new digital forms and his drive to break big news have long fueled his career.
He started one of New York’s first political blogs, The Politicker, for The New York Observer, as well as the political site, Room Eight, after working as City Hall bureau chief for The New York Sun.
Prior to BuzzFeed, Ben was senior political writer for Politico, and before that, he wrote a column and a blog for The New York Daily News. He was called “one of the most talented and admired scoop-mongers in the game” by The New Republic and named one of the “Most Creative People in Business,” by Fast Company. He has a keen understanding of this moment, as media companies grapple with a future that will be shaped as much by technology as it is by reporting.
The role of media columnist is essential at The Times. It was pioneered by and largely shaped by the late David Carr, who with passion and insight captured the rise of digital outlets and the collapse of the newspaper advertising model, the power of WikiLeaks and the misconduct of medial moguls. It was further deepened by Jim Rutenberg, who brought investigative energy and analytical power to subjects ranging from the Murdoch empire, the reverberations of the #MeToo movement within media, and the relationship between The National Enquirer and the president.
Ben will start on March 2. Please join us in welcoming him.