HAWIJA, IRAQ—Responding to his captors’ demands that he divulge who he is and what he was doing in the region, kidnapped journalist Tim Cascella reportedly found himself Thursday having to explain to several ISIS militants what BuzzFeed News is. “So, it’s part of a broader digital media network, and it started out as a spinoff from our entertainment content because that made more sense from an advertising perspective, but now it’s a separate news vertical of its own—it reports on stuff like any other news site, I swear,” said a frightened Cascella, who only seemed to perplex and anger his interrogators further when, after being asked to state his background, he mentioned that he got his start writing listicles for the website before eventually moving up to report on actual real-world events. “No, I don’t have a physical copy; it’s only online. We’re sort of like Huffington Post, if you’re familiar with that, but for a younger audience. Maybe you’ve done one of our quizzes? They’re very popular. If you just go to BuzzFeed.com—and try not to look at the homepage—then just click on ‘News,’ which is the first tab, it will bring you to actual news stories. I promise.” At press time, Cascella’s captors had decided to release him after determining that he was not a journalist.
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