Comparative journalism analysis: ABC V.S BuzzFeed
Christchurch residents pay tribute to victims from MARTY MELVILLE/AFP

Comparative journalism analysis: ABC V.S BuzzFeed

This comparative journalism analysis will choose the mainstream online news, the ABC News, and a digital born service, the Buzzfeed. Through a comparison of these two News’ stories, it shows the similarities and differences between publishing context, target users and demographics, online delivery analysis, and technical use.


1.Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) Online News

Biographical survey

The ABC was founded in 1932 which has become a popular part of Australian society and its cultural structure. ABC has developed from a single broadcasting business to a multi-platform media operation and an internationally renowned public broadcasting company to disseminate Australian stories and dialogues throughout the country and the region (ABC Online).

ABC News is the Australian National News Service produced by the News and Current Affairs Department of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in 1947. The Division is responsible for all news collection and production of news output for ABC television, radio and online services (National Museum Australia).

ABC Online is the brand name of ABC Online Services, which is managed by ABC Innovation. It covers a huge network of websites, including ABC News, TV, radio and video on demand via ABC iView (ABC Online).The ABC established its original Multimedia Department in 1995 to manage the company’s website. In 1996, ABC first provided live and online election reports. ABC Online is one of Australia’s largest and most visited websites which currently contains more than 5 million pages (Alexa).


Target groups demographics

According to the ABC annual report in 2018, ABC News and Current Affairs Online had an average of 4.8 million Australian users per month, close to a quarter (24%) of the active Australian online population in 2017-18. This is increase 4% over last year, including in the ABC applications the audience of ABC News.

In 2017-18, ABC News and Current Affairs Online’s smartphone and tablet audience grew year-on-year: smartphone users increased by 20% to 1.7 million, tablet users increased by 46% to 1 million (ABC annual report Volume2, 2018).

In 2017-18, ABC News maintained Australia’s leading 24-hour news channel status, attracting a large audience attention to the breaking news and event. For example, on May 19, 2018, ABC’s Royal Wedding Report attracted 1.6 million urban and regional audiences. The Royal Wedding attracted ABC News Channel’s largest single-day audience. In addition, Queensland elections on November 25, 2017 (1.6 million urban and regional audiences) and homosexual marriage survey announcements (1.3 million urban and regional audiences) were also highlights for audiences (ABC annual report Volume1, 2018).


2. BuzzFeed

Biographical survey

Buzzfeed is an American Internet media, founded by Jonah Peretti in New York in 2006. At the beginning, the company used to be a viral Laboratory for research hot topics on the Internet. Now it is become a global media company that provides current news on politics, business and animals (BuzzFeed). In order to add more serious news and long stories, Ben Smith of Politico magazine has been hired as editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed in 2011.

However, BuzzFeed News is hardly recognized as a major source of news by American and competing news organizations. Also, BuzzFeed has long been accused of stealing content from other online and traditional competitors. BuzzFeed has also frequently been the subject of multiple copyright infringement lawsuits, including the use of unauthorized content and unnamed sources of content (Alexa).


Target groups demographics

BuzzFeed has a huge channel network, which enables the company to reach multiple markets and audiences. BuzzFeed’s different channels are not targeted at specific audiences, but to enable them to attract every type of audience. To be sepecific, Buzzfeed captures three of the most influential markets to attract audiences, including food, lifestyle and parenting.

According to the U.S. census, millennials is the largest generation in U.S. history with more than 80 million people. And in the United States, half of the millennials read BuzzFeed (NewsCred, 2015).According to the statics of BuzzFeed, they reach 3 out of 5 U.S. Millennials Monthly and a Global Audience of over 650 Million until year of 2018. Obviously, the strategy of BuzzFeed to attract audiences is successfully.

In addition, according to the Vetro Index, Buzzfeed’s audience is heavily biased towards women and younger audiences, with a base of nearly 70% female. Nearly 20% of the audiences are between 18 and 24 years old and a quarter of the audiences are between 25 and 34 years old.

Source: Verto Watch (US.adults18+), February, 2018


3. Comparing the coverage of New Zealand pays tribute to victims At Memorial


ABC News: New Zealand pays tribute to victims with two minutes of silence


Journalism writing analysis

This news recorded the New Zealand commemorates the silence of 50 victims of the Christchurch Mosque shooting at memorial.

As an excellent news on any platform starts with the same principle, knowing who your audience is, and it will know what information is most valuable, what knowledge is taken for granted, what style is appropriate, and when and where they are most accessible (Bradshaw, 2018).

Firstly, as news released on ABC’s official website, the source is real. This article was published in the third person, representing the official press release. The author stands at a neutral point of view to state the facts of the news, the authenticity has been fully stated, and there is no exaggeration of the facts to the audience. Also, the heading of this news is descriptive that describe the event about New Zealand pays tribute to victims.

In addition, at the beginning of this news, author put the video of Christchurch mourns in two minute silence shooting by ABC. So the video offer the evidence about the authenticity of news. Not only author put this video, but also he put several photos and the video of Imam Gamal Fouda speech. At the same time, some quotes about the content of Imam’s speech can better reflect the credibility and accuracy of the news because the type and evidence of news and sources of news can shows the credibility of news (Cherubini & Nielsen, 2015).

Source: screenshot of news from ABC


Online delivery: hyperlink, multimedia, interactivity, community

As the one of the basic web principles, scannability is vital principles for online news (Bradshaw, 2018). Using hyperlink as an effective tool can help journalist to represent more content in news of brevity because hyperlinks is the quick indication of the background content. In this news, journalist use lots of hyperlinks to indicate audiences. For example,‘ a week after a lone gunman entered and shot worshippers’, ‘Ms Ardern and her leadership in the wake of the attack.’

Not only news has hyperlinks about other news and background story, but also author embedded two videos and several photos and their hyperlinks. And it shows the good interactivity and multimedia news. At the same time, this news put the link of social media and email, it can help audiences follow and forwarding directly in social media platform.

Thus it creates some good community that makes audiences to discuss in Facebook or Twitter and more.

Source: screenshot of news from ABC


Technical delivery: functionality and useability

At first, this news has appropriate the length of each sentence and paragraph. It shows the forms of brevity that news shows the legibility of text for audiences.

In addition, this news has good useability and functionality. It has clearly headlines, subheadings, indented quotes, and numbers that improve the legibility and scannability of news (Bradshaw, 2018). Audiences can more better to find content what they interest in. Also, audiences can watch video in the original website and link to other website easily.


BuzzFeed: Christchurch Victims Honoured At Memorial


Journalism writing analysis

Similar the previous ABC news, BuzzFeed’s news also report about New Zealand’s memory of victims. But there are still differences in the perspective of content, BuzzfFeed focuses more on Imam’s expression at the ceremony of silence.

In addition, the author stands at a neutral point of view to state the facts of the news, and there is no exaggeration of the facts to the audience. However, BuzzFeed’ news not was published in the third person, representing the official press release. Author is Richard James who is the BuzzFeed News Director.

Moreover, ABC news offers enough evidences that prove the authenticity of news. In contrast, there are only two photos in this news. And in the news, journalist quoted his speech of Gamal Fouda many times, but in fact it all comes from the ceremony of silence. Journalist should release video and links to readers as well as last ABC news.

Online delivery: hyperlink, multimedia, interactivity, community

Firstly, hyperlink is effective tool can help journalist to represent more content in news of brevity because hyperlinks is the quick indication of the background content (Bradshaw, 2018). Like ABC news uses enough hyperlinks to help audiences find content what they like quickly. However, BuzzFeed’s news lack of hyperlinks to link other contents. There is only one hyperlink “told the crowd” in the news. Different with the previous ABC news, this news story has no multimedia which is no video or audio to play.

In addition, BuzzFeed’ s news lack of sufficient interactivity and community. Because there is no link to the source of the photos and no other context can be obtained. And it offer less platform which audiences can discuss. Like ABC news, apart from Facebook and Twitter, audiences also can copy topic or link in other social media like linkedin and Reddit. But BuzzFeed only offer the links of Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.

Sources: screenshot of news from BuzzFeed


Technical delivery: functionality and useability

This news has less functional and low useability. At first, about the headline and subheading, although headline includes quote to appeal reader’s attention, it not clearly shows critical information. Also, there is a SEO headline issues because this headline did not have key words and messages that audience can search (Pearson, 2012). The headline had two keywords “New Zealand” and Christchurch. But it lacked only ‘shooting’. And there is no subheading in the news. In the perspective of audiences, it seems like information and parts are messy.



ABC 2017-18 Annual Report Volume I. (2018). 2017-18 Annual Report. Retrieved from


ABC 2017-18 Annual Report Volume II. (2018). 2017-18 Annual Report. Retrieved from


BuzzFeed. (2017). BuzzFeed Advertise. Retrieved from


Bradshaw, P. (2018). Writing for the Web. In The Online Journalism Handbook: Skills to survive and thrive in the digital age (pp. 72–98). Routledge.


Bradshaw, P. (2018). Finding Leads and sources online. In The Online Journalism Handbook: Skills to survive and thrive in the digital age (pp. 51–71). Routledge.


Bradshaw, P. (2018). ’Writing for Social Media & Chat Apps. In The Online Journalism Handbook: Skills to survive and thrive in the digital age. (pp. 99–133). Routledge.


Cherubini, F., & Nielsen, R. K. (2016). Editorial analytics: How news media are developing and using audience data and metrics. Available at SSRN 2739328.


Hwong, C. (2018). Chart of the Week: Tracking Audience and Reader Demographics. Retrieved from


NewsCrep. (2016). 50% Of Millennials Read BuzzFeed – Why Marketers Should Care. Retrieved from


Pearson, M., & Pearson, M. (2012). Blogging & tweeting without getting sued: A global guide to the law for anyone writing online. Crows Nest, NSW: Allen & Unwin.

About Mingmin Li 3 Articles
The journalist of media practice and public relations of the University of Sydney.

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