Shani Olisa Hilton (born 1986) is the Head of U.S. News for Buzzfeed News.[2]

Early Life & Education

Shani Hilton grew up in Rancho Cucamonga, California​.[3]​ Her passion for journalism started at an early age, inspired by her father who worked in the industry.

During her middle school years at the Etiwanda Intermediate School, she founded a student newspaper called The Paw Print.[3]

She graduated from Bear Creek High School in Stockton, California[3] and then attended Howard University, earning her Bachelor's​ degree in Journalism​.[19]


Early Beginnings (2010 - 2013)

After spending four years at Princeton University​ working at various communications positions, Hilton went back to her roots and became an Associate Editor at the Center for American Progress​.[19]

In June 2011, she began writing for the Washington City Paper.[19]​ She wrote a piece entitled, "Confessions of a Black Gentrifier," in which she challenges the narrative of young white people displacing black people who live in certain areas.[23]

In July 2012, she started working as a Morning Editor for NBC4.[19]


Buzzfeed (2013 - Present)

Hilton joined Buzzfeed in February 2013 as Senior Editor.[5] She was promoted to Executive Editor in September 2014.[6] Politico has called her "the youthful conscience of Buzzfeed News"[3] and Recode calls her "Buzzfeed's Newsmaker in Chief."[4] The New York Observer named her to a list of "10 Players in Media You Must Hire."[7]

Hilton is regularly cited as an expert on topics like journalistic ethics,[8] millennial audiences for newsmedia,[2] and diversity in the newsroom.[2] The latter owes particularly to the increased diversity of Buzzfeed staffing under Hilton's tenure, though she has emphasized the remaining room for improvement.[2] She wrote a widely cited essay on the subject in 2014, entitled "Building A Diverse Newsroom Is Work."[2]


Personal Life

Hilton currently resides in New York City.[20]