The self-described millennial news operation Fusion has struggled to crack into the mainstream since its inception in 2013, but one place the company surges ahead of its competitors is on the diversity front. Numbers obtained by International Business Times from a internal Fusion memo show that, in a field where most shops are majority white, only 40 percent of Fusion's staff self-identifies as Caucasian, both in its newsroom alone and across the company overall.
It could be even less than that: 52 percent of the company as a whole identifies as nonwhite, 40 percent as white, while 8 percent of employees held off disclosing their ethnicity. On the editorial side, 39.8 percent are white, 37.5 percent Latino, 5.8 percent black, 5.3 Asian, 1.2 percent biracial, and 0.6 percent Native American. A full 9.8 percent of editorial staffers chose not to identify their ethnicity.
As part of a series on diversity in digital media, IBT recently reported that Vox Media was 80 percent white, an 8 percent improvement in ethnic diversity from 2013, when the company was 88 percent white. IBT has also reported that BuzzFeed is 67 percent white, Mic.com 74 percent white, and Gawker 78 percent. IBT itself is 75 percent white.
Fusion's considerable share of Latino employees puts it in a different category entirely — though its share of black and Asian editorial staffers is not that different from the other sites.
"As we continue to build out our own diverse newsroom, our audience will also benefit from Fusion being a central piece of Univision’s multicultural portfolio — allowing for increased collaboration with The Root, the No. 1 news and cultural site for African Americans. We are already working on future joint projects and co-productions," read the memo by CEO Isaac Lee.
The gender front is equally strong, compared to other sites. The editorial side is 53 percent female and 47 percent male, whereas the company as a whole is 55 percent male and 45 percent female.
The company, a joint venture by Disney and Univision to appeal to the millennial market, remains on the outskirts of the new media landscape, with reports of low traffic and issues over its website's direction.
Diversity, at least, is an area where Fusion is happy to declare victory: "This is a large reason our content resonates with a diverse audience across platforms. It is important that we continue to celebrate the fact that while our similarities often bind us together, it is our differences that allow us to stand out," Lee wrote.