NEW YORK/LOS ANGELES — BuzzFeed Founder and CEO Jonah Peretti announced today that Mark Schoofs will be the new Editor-in-Chief of BuzzFeed News. Schoofs, who is currently a visiting professor at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, will oversee a global news organization that reaches tens of millions of people each month and features award-winning reporting across tech, politics, culture, investigations, science, and international. Over the course of his 30-year career, Schoofs has earned a Pulitzer Prize for reporting on AIDS in Africa at The Village Voice; shared in another Pulitzer Prize at The Wall Street Journal for reporting on the 9/11 terrorist attacks; led a team of investigative journalists at ProPublica; and, in 2014, created BuzzFeed News’s investigations team, which is now a two-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and winner of the Polk and National Magazine Awards. Schoofs began his career editing Chicago’s weekly LGBTQ newspaper, The Windy City Times.
“I’m so excited to welcome Mark back to BuzzFeed, because I know how deeply committed he is to ensuring that BuzzFeed News remains the best place on the internet for free, high quality news, and reaches even greater heights,” said BuzzFeed Founder and CEO Jonah Peretti. “I’m also confident, even during these tough times, that BuzzFeed News will be in the best possible hands under Mark’s leadership.”
“I’m thrilled to come back to BuzzFeed News,” said Mark Schoofs. “Its journalists — tough, rigorous, and fearless — are the best in the world, hands down.”
“We are so excited about this collaboration across newsrooms and classrooms,” said Willow Bay, dean of the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. “We know it will be an incredible opportunity both for our students to learn from Jonah and Mark, and for BuzzFeed News to gain deeper insight into this generation of news consumers.”
While serving as BuzzFeed News’ Editor-in-Chief, Mark will continue serving on the faculty at USC Annenberg, allowing BuzzFeed and the school to build a unique collaboration. Beginning this Fall, the school will offer one course taught by Schoofs on journalism, and another taught by Peretti on internet culture, networks, and digital media. BuzzFeed News will also create an internship program for USC students. While at USC, Schoofs also ran the school’s investigative reporting program and helped launch the Beacon Project, an innovative summer investigative internship that was profiled by The New York Times.
In March, BuzzFeedNews.com, which was created as a separate destination in 2018, hit a lifetime high in visitors, according to comScore, with more than 51 million unique visitors in the US — on top of an additional 8.8 million via Apple News. Since its founding in 2014, BuzzFeed News has broken the news of R. Kelly’s alleged cult; published a searing letter from the Stanford sexual assault victim, which sparked a national conversation on campus sexual assault; obtained an exclusive interview with actor Anthony Rapp, where he first accused Kevin Spacey of sexual assaulting him when Rapp was 14; and published a series on Russian-backed assassinations in the UK that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in International Reporting. In January 2017, BuzzFeed News published the Steele dossier, which had been circulating at the highest levels of government, under active investigation by the FBI, and briefed to two successive presidents.
During the current crisis, BuzzFeed News reporting has forced the FDA to change its guidance and allow more masks into the United States; brought to light heartbreaking — and heartwarming — stories of real people during the crisis; and given voice to generations and populations ignored by traditional media. (According to Morning Consult’s ‘Understanding Gen Z’, a poll of the generation born after 1997, BuzzFeed News is the most-used news outlet among Gen Z adults, ahead of ABC, CNN, NBC, and the New York Times.)
Schoofs will be starting on May 18 and will be based in Los Angeles.
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