'Buzz' surrounds New York Times politics partnership

By Stacey Welsh
The New York Times has announced it’s spicing up coverage of the 2012 Democratic and Republican national conventions with a BuzzFeed collaboration. The paper posted a press release explaining how the not-so-traditional partnership will offer "expanded video coverage." Times staffers and BuzzFeed’s political team will create video segments with commentary about the conventions and the events leading up to them.

Erik Wemple, a Washington Post blogger, comments that the most "astounding" part of the move is that the Times proposed it. Additionally, he writes, BuzzFeed has only been covering politics "seriously" since January when former Politico writer Ben Smith joined as the site's editor-in-chief. Wemple, however, said this wouldn't be a problem because the Times is searching for "the ability to command a large following and to strike up the sorts of online conversations for which older, well-paid, traditional newspaper reporters aren’t famous."

Although the Times will supervise most of the production, BuzzFeed will likely host some of the videos, according to The AtlanticIn the end, the Times wants to meld BuzzFeed's "energy and social awareness" with the paper's "traditional reporting strengths," said Jim Roberts, Times assistant managing editor, in the Atlantic article. 

And just as Roberts admires BuzzFeed's social prowess, so does BuzzFeed rely on "Times news values," according to a conversation Ben Smith had with The New York Observer. 

"My broader view is that great journalism is what will wind up winning the social space," he told the publication in an email.

Here's to hoping the collaboration will bring some "LOL" moments to political coverage.

Image courtesy of BuzzFeed Politics.

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