Black Women Changing The Face Of US News Media

Written by Max Willens

Two black women are among the Digiday Changemakers — 50 people who are making media and marketing more modern.

This is Digiday’s first list, published in Digiday magazine, which is part of the Digiday+ membership program. The idea behind Changemakers is to recognize those in media and marketing who are making change happen on a daily basis. Digiday wanted to get beyond the same names and faces that appear on most lists.


From Digiday. Story by Max Willens

Shani Hilton, head of U.S. News, BuzzFeed News. Photo: Photo courtesy of Shani O. Hilton/

Shani Hilton, head of U.S. News, BuzzFeed News

When Shani Hilton joined BuzzFeed News in 2013 as a deputy executive editor, it was a curiosity to the news community. How would BuzzFeed, province of viral cat listicles, try to become synonymous with news? Many scoops later, whether it’s a collaborative investigation into tennis match fixing with the BBC, or its look at the prevalence of fake news on Facebook after the presidential elections, BuzzFeed News is letting the work speak for itself. Under Hilton, who oversees the U.S. news operation of nearly 200 reporters, BuzzFeed News acts less like a purveyor of new entertainment content, and more like a traditional news publisher. It doesn’t pour all its time into Snapchat or Facebook Video. It focuses on uncovering wrongdoing.

Lydia Polgreen, editor in chief, HuffPost. Photo: Digiday

Lydia Polgreen, editor in chief, HuffPost

Arianna Huffington started the Huffington Post as a counterweight to The Drudge Report. Lydia Polgreen, HuffPost’s newest editor in chief, wants to create content for both audiences. The New York Times vet is trying to turn a scale-seeking, global operation spread out across 17 newsrooms into an interconnected newsroom in the style of a great 1970s tabloid newspaper. For Polgreen, that means finding ways to connect with communities that haven’t been heard, whether that involves launching Facebook communities for introverts or embedding reporters from disadvantaged communities around the world.

Read more at  Digiday.