DIGITAL PIONEER: BUZZFEED
A conversation with Eugene Lee Yang, Abe Forman-Greenwald, and Mallory Wang.
Moderated by Anna Akana
This event is free for UCSD students, faculty, and staff by way of a rush line that allows entry to the event once all ticketed customers have been seated. This offer is subject to availability only, and if there are no empty seats once our ticketed customers are seated, we will not have space to admit the rush line. Therefore, we highly recommend buying tickets in advance to ensure entry.
Asian Americans have always found ways to tell their stories online, but in the past couple of years, Asian Americans have built a significant mainstream presence developing internet content – short videos, web series, visually-dynamic and humorously-written pieces and lists – for one of the biggest internet platforms anywhere: BuzzFeed.
During that time, we’ve watched how BuzzFeed’s own self re-discovery as a significant and revolutionary portal for commentary and entertainment went hand-in-hand with its embrace of Asian American makers and Asian American content. From lists about growing up Asian American, to cutting video parodies of race in America, to regular content where Asian American writers and performers can exist as ordinary Americans alongside people of all races, BuzzFeed has actively sought to achieve what so many Asian Americans have always dreamed of from mainstream media: for Asian Americans to be addressed in their cultural specificities while also being embraced as ordinary contributors both in front and behind the camera.
This year, the San Diego Asian Film Festival acknowledges BuzzFeed with its Digital Pioneer Award to recognize a company that embraces a diverse America as both media consumers and producers. We want to honor the team at BuzzFeed: the decision-makers who have gone to bat for hiring Asian American makers and promoting Asian American content, the directors and producers (like Abe Forman-Greenwald and Michelle Khare) who have developed the content, the performers (like Ashly Perez and Eugene Lee Yang) who have become faces of BuzzFeed, and the writers (like Cathy Ngo and Arabelle Sicardi) who are speaking from diverse perspectives including Asian American ones.
This panel introduces BuzzFeed in all of its diversity and across many types of media, in particular video. We want to start a discussion about how many of the hopes our community has had for Asian Americans in network and even cable television is happening right now on the pages of BuzzFeed, and ask how the model created by BuzzFeed can in turn shape traditional media and media that is yet to come.