BuzzFeed and other media startups discover the Internet is hard to win

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Winning the Internet is not as easy as it looks.

Re/code held its annual Code Media conference in southern California this week, bringing together media industry executives and journalists for a couple of days of live interviews, discussion and networking.

In past years, it has offered one of the best snapshots of the intersection of media and technology, a topic that usually ends up with the newcomers like BuzzFeed and Vox being lauded and the old establishment like The New York Times and the magazine industry taking a beating.

This year, everyone's in the same boat. Less than two months into 2016, the year has already been brutal for digital media companies and their employees. The laundry list of companies that have laid off employees reads like a "next big thing" list from 2014, including BuzzFeed, The Huffington Post and Al Jazeera America. Even Yahoo has cut at least seven of its verticals.

"Old" media, as it's called in the industry, has it no better. The Guardian said it would be steadily cutting staff over the next three years, and fashion magazines for both women and men have suffered extensive layoffs and, in the case of Lucky and Details, shutdowns.

In the face of this, staying optimistic is difficult, though media executives don't yet s

 

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