Working your way up

Buffalo.com’s Ben Kirst advises future journalists

Nicole Mehlman

Buffalo.com’s Digital Communications manager Ben Kirst stopped by Niagara University’s Web Design class to discuss the web, and its affect on journalism. Kirst is a western New York native from Fredonia and started small as a writer for Dunkirk’s local news paper.

“I covered all kinds of sports at first, high school on up,” he says.

Kirst says he utilized small jobs and the contacts he made over the years to work his way up to his current position. “My biggest advice to all of you is use the people you know, and network like crazy,” he advised.

In terms of content on his web site Kirst described why the Buffalo News decided to make two pages, “Buffalo.com is geared toward ages 18 to 35 and focuses on sports and entertainment. The Buffalo News has the main web site that is more hard news. Buffalo.com is still part of the Buffalo News, but at the same time we compete with each other.”

Buffalo.com is the smaller of the two sites with only a five person staff and three freelance photographers, but Kirst says their following is growing as they add more creative content.

“We’re in the top ten in terms of the most visited sites in western New York, and that’s definitely something to be proud of. We’re also striving to reach more people through promotions and events that are geared towards younger people in this region,” he explained.

Despite bigger sites such as Facebook, Twitter and the Buffalo News, Buffalo.com has started to make a name for itself and hopes to widen their reach across the western New York area.

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