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Buzzfeed CEO Jonah Peretti aims to sustain sustainability in the digital media industry's struggle

"The Internet is at an intersection," he wrote in a strategic note to employees recently. "In one direction, there is a fiery dumpster fire that pushes people apart. In the other, the internet is a source of joy and truth that connects people together."

So how does BuzzFeed try to put out the fire? That's what Peretti discussed in this week's podcast "Reliable sources".

"There is much more focus" on the ugly undercurrent right now, Peretti said, among other things thanks to reporters – including those at BuzzFeed – who have increased awareness of hoaxes, scams, privacy invasions, and other evil on the internet.

"But I think it's important to remember what's good about the internet," he said. "And it is important to fight for it ̵[ads1]1; and to realize that we have a choice in the matter and we can actually work together to build a better internet."

That's what he encouraged people to do during a main speech at SXSW on Friday. Austin Chronicle's headline afterwards: "Peretti wants to save the Internet from herself."

Peretti told CNN Business that large technology platforms like Facebook must play a central role in extinguishing the above-mentioned "dumpster four".

But newsrooms have a role to play for, he said: "We will report well on all the issues that are on the Internet and raise awareness and make sure the public knows about them."

Then he turned to "joy" Part: "We will also do good content on the Internet in a way that is sustainable as a business."

During the interview, Peretti repeatedly returned to the word "sustainable" ". Digital media brands have attracted large audiences, but have struggled to gain as much profit. Earlier this year, BuzzFeed left 15% of the staff, and other start-ups made similar reductions.

Peretti called it "unlucky", but said that the cuts were part of an industry shift from growth to sustainability.

  BuzzFeed votes to unite after redundancies

"The focus is not now," Can you go out of everyone? "That is," Can you overload everyone? "And the digital media companies are starting to run like real businesses," he said.

BuzzFeed's growth over the years has been driven by social deployment – tapping into the power of sites like Facebook and Twitter

Peretti is still more bullish over tech giants than many other media managers, saying BuzzFeeds $ 300 million in total revenue last year was $ 84 million from "the four major platforms", and named Facebook, Google, Amazon and Netflix. "

" Five years ago, there were only $ 7 million in revenue, "he said," so we are happy to see the growth in revenue we see. "

More than a year ago BuzzFeed has been dogged by speculation that the company may try to spin or sell the news division.

The Financial Times reported in early 2018 that BuzzFeed News editor Ben Smith" had discussions "with Laurene Powell Jobs & # 39; company, Emerson Collective, who has invested in many media companies.

To date

When asked about this on the podcast, Peretti said" the news is expensive, "but" we are 100% engaged in it.

He said flat: "I don't do that I don't want to sell BuzzFeed News. "

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