BuzzFeed will be closing its news operations in Australia and the United Kingdom, the media company has confirmed.
A spokesperson for the company cited “economic and strategic reasons” for closing down editorial teams in Australia and Britain. Instead now its editorial focus will now be firmly squared at news in the United States.
“Both for economic and strategic reasons, we are going to focus on news that hits big in the United States during this difficult period,” the BuzzFeed spokeswoman said, according to SMH.com.au.
“Therefore, we will notify staff in the UK and Australia that we are not planning to cover local news in those countries. We will be consulting with employees on our plans regarding furloughs and stand-downs in these regions.”
Lane Sainty of Buzzfeed‘s Australian editorial team said on Twitter: “I’m sadder than I can say to lose this little newsroom, which has basically been my home for the past five and a half years.”
She also tweeted: “BuzzFeed gave us space to experiment with covering politics for a young audience, and to tackle important and often under-covered beats like abortion, LGBTQ rights, Indigenous affairs, immigration and internet culture. I’ve always been grateful for that & very proud of our work.”
The Australian media industry has been put under severe financial strain by the coronavirus crisis. Plummeting advertising revenues have already forced the closure of some longstanding regional newspapers.
Buzzfeed Australia had been straining though even before the onset of the pandemic, last year suffering a string of redundancies in its newsroom.