BuzzFeed News is set to open local-language bureaus in Mexico and Germany this year as part of the publisher’s bid to attract a global audience, editor-in-chief Ben Smith has revealed.
The digital media company will hire journalists in the two countries to cover local news in their native language. Certain stories that have global resonance will be translated into English and distributed more widely across the BuzzFeed portfolio.
The expansion comes ahead of the two countries' national elections, providing an opportunity for the publisher to cover the run-up to the political election first-hand. Germany’s federal election is in September, while Mexico’s election will be in 2018.
BuzzFeed Germany will be led by editor-in-chief Daniel Drepper, formerly co-founder of Correctiv, Germany’s first non-profit investigative newsroom. He will manage a small team of breaking news and beat reporters in Berlin, with new hires expected throughout 2017.
Drepper will work closely with Janine Gibson, editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed UK, and Cecile Dehesdin, editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed France, to bolster the publisher's European coverage.
BuzzFeed Mexico is hiring journalists and has an open role for a head of news.
It joins the ranks of online media companies, including Vice, Vox Media and the Huffington Post, that are seeking new audiences and revenue streams through global expansion.
Vice, which operates in over 30 countries, last year opened a news bureau in Indonesia and is set to expand into India and the Middle East this year. The New York Times launched a Spanish-language digital edition last year as it looked to expand its readership outside the US.
BuzzFeed News has existing operations in New York, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Los Angeles, London, Paris, Toronto, Sao Paulo, Sydney and Tokyo, and correspondents in Istanbul, Dakar, Berlin, Brussels, Mexico City, Honolulu, Mumbai and Beijing.