BuzzFeed News has named a new editor-in-chief: veteran journalist Mark Schoofs, who formerly worked at the digital-media company. Even after coming on board BuzzFeed News later this month, Schoofs will continue to work as a professor at USC.
Schoofs takes on the role after former BuzzFeed EIC Ben Smith exited to join the New York Times earlier this year. BuzzFeed founder/CEO Jonah Peretti on Tuesday announced the appointment of Schoofs, who will start on May 18 and will be based in Los Angeles.
While serving as BuzzFeed News’ editor-in-chief, Schoofs will continue serving as a visiting professor on the faculty at USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. That, according to the company, will let BuzzFeed and the school “build a unique collaboration.”
Beginning this fall, USC will offer one course taught by Schoofs on journalism — and another one taught by Peretti on “internet culture, networks, and digital media.” BuzzFeed News will also create an internship program for USC students.
Over the course of his 30-year career, Schoofs has earned a Pulitzer Prize for reporting on AIDS in Africa at the Village Voice; shared in another Pulitzer Prize at the Wall Street Journal for reporting on the 9/11 terrorist attacks; and led a team of investigative journalists at ProPublica. In 2014, Schoofs created BuzzFeed News’ investigations team, and while at USC he also ran the school’s investigative reporting program and helped launch the Beacon Project, a summer investigative internship. He started his career editing Chicago’s weekly LGBTQ newspaper, the Windy City Times.
“I’m so excited to welcome Mark back to BuzzFeed, because I know how deeply committed he is to ensuring that BuzzFeed News remains the best place on the internet for free, high-quality news, and reaches even greater heights,” Peretti said in a statement. “I’m also confident, even during these tough times, that BuzzFeed News will be in the best possible hands under Mark’s leadership.”
Added Schoofs, “I’m thrilled to come back to BuzzFeed News. Its journalists — tough, rigorous, and fearless — are the best in the world, hands down.”