BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith will interview President Obama Tuesday, the website announced Sunday.
Smith’s interview with the president from the White House will be featured across BuzzFeed’s platforms. Obama will also participate in a video with BuzzFeed Motion Pictures that will be posted on Facebook.
This is BuzzFeed’s first interview with a sitting U.S. president, and the viral news and entertainment site is enlisting its users to propose questions for the president.
The BuzzFeed interview continues President Obama’s 2015 pivot to digital and social media to get his message out. Two days after he delivered his State of the Union, the president granted three YouTube stars live interviews.
The stars’ subscribers asked questions live to Obama; a drastic change in format from the traditional broadcast or cable news interview.
Media critics like Fox News’ Howard Kurtz questioned whether the president’s interview with YouTube stars over traditional media anchors was beneath the dignity of the office of the president.
Apparently, Obama isn’t listening as he continues his digital and social media push. The strategy to reach younger voters on issues like climate change, income inequality, and foreign policy makes sense as Obama was thrust into office on the backs of social media and a swell of younger voters buying into the idea of “hope and change.”
Obama knows that in order to get any of his policy goals passed with a Republican congress in place, he’ll need some outside help. His calculation, it seems, is to try and ignite the same passion younger people felt when he initially ran during the homestretch of his presidency.