Ben Smith is the former Editor-in-Chief at BuzzFeed and Media Columnist at the New York Times. He joined the BuzzFeed team in January 2010 and was responsible for overseeing and expanding editorial coverage and producing original content for the first true social news organization. Ben and his team changed the way people viewed the news. Before BuzzFeed, Smith was the senior political writer for POLITICO, where he wrote a daily blog that Time Magazine named one of the “Five Essential Blogs in 2010.”
Ben is the Editor-In-Chief of Semafor — an intelligent, transparent global news platform he founded in 2022.
In 2008, Ben covered the Democratic presidential primary, focusing on Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Before POLITICO, he was a columnist and blogger for the New York Daily News. Ben was also behind New York’s first political blog, The Politicker, for the New York Observer. He also started the political site, Room Eight, after working as City Hall Bureau Chief for the New York Sun.
Ben Smith has written for many leading publications, including the Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, Slate, The New York Post, The New Republic, Legal Affairs, Reason and In These Times.
Ben graduated Summa Cum Laude from Yale University with a degree in LInguistics. A Manhattan native, he lives in Brooklyn with his wife and three children.
As the Editor-In-Chief of BuzzFeed, Ben Smith was on the front lines of a rapidly changing media landscape. In his presentation, he takes audiences behind the scenes of BuzzFeed’s disruptive and forward-thinking social approach, one that has led to hundreds of millions of unique visitors every month. Through his experiences, observations and specific case studies, Ben learned how to reach and earn credibility with this new generation of readers, one who is more likely to read something their friend shares on Twitter or Facebook than a newspaper’s front page. Combining original content, aggregation, and a mix of hard-hitting and humorous stories, Ben Smith is at the helm of a “viral–content machine” redefining journalism.
Ben Smith has moderated events large and small, interviewing everyone from Senator Marco Rubio to President Barack Obama. He is equipped to engage in a conversation with any guest or panel, discussing politics, pop culture or whatever else is on the agenda.
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