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Ben Smith on the End of an Era for Digital Media

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The 2010s saw the rise of a number of digital media startups like BuzzFeed News, Gawker Media, Vice, Business Insider and others who were set to usher in a new era of news consumption, displacing legacy outlets like the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. Now, by and large, that dream seems to have died. Gawker is gone. BuzzFeed News is closed. Vice has filed for bankruptcy. Insider recently had layoffs. So how did it all fall apart and what is the future for upstart media? In this episode, we speak with Ben Smith, editor-in-chief of Semafor and the author of the new book Traffic: Genius, Rivalry, and Delusion in the Billion-Dollar Race to Go Viral, to discuss his experience as the editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed News, and how times have changed so dramatically for online journalism. We also discussed what business models work today, the use of AI, and the future of news consumption.

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