BuzzFeed’s Diversity Just ‘OK,’ Says Site’s ‘Queen’ Shani Hilton

Betsy Rothstein | Reporter

In CapitalNY‘s beaming puff piece on BuzzFeed News’ executive editor Shani Hilton published Thursday, she says the outlet is just doing “OK” with its diversity practices. This, despite it’s recent quest to hire $85K diversity fellows that supposedly doesn’t limit itself to non-white people. Their aim was “mid career journalists of color and other diverse backgrounds,” after they learned that just gearing it towards journalists of color could open them to legal problems.

“Hilton reiterated that Buzzfeed is doing just ‘OK’ on diversity hiring,” reports CapitalNY. [RELATED: BuzzFeed Diversity Program Rejects White Journalist]

BuzzFeed‘s staff is reportedly 75 percent white. Shani is black.

“This is the time where you either get your ratios right or you really completely screw yourself,” Hilton said of Buzzfeed‘s recent growth spurt.

The profile of Shani, complete with a photo of her wearing BuzzFeed red lipstick, is filled with niceties, almost too many to count. A true profile includes the good and the bad. Not this one. In CapitalNY‘s version, she’s the epitome of perfection. The Atlantic‘s Ta-Nehisi Coates calls her “utterly brilliant” and the most “important voice” in media diversity.

Staffers tell the reporter that Shani is their “queen.” The writer: “Two separate Buzzfeed News employees, asked independently, referred to Hilton as their ‘queen.'” (Yes, they weren’t occupying the same body when they were asked about her. That’s incredible.)

Shani must be pleased with how positive it turned out — especially since that’s how she likes her news.

“I like to like things, and it’s nice that I work at a place where our default stance is to like things,” she told the pub. “…Sometimes it’s exhausting to sneer all the time.”

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