Reddit has hired Mark S. Luckie, the former news manager at Twitter and the person behind Today in Black Twitter, as its first-ever head of journalism and media. Journalists and media organizations have been using Reddit for years to discover and source content, but sifting through the loads of information on Reddit isn’t the easiest of tasks. Luckie’s new role will entail working with media organizations, as well as government organizations, to understand how they’re currently using Reddit and what their needs are from the platform, Luckie told me. He’ll then take that feedback and build it into Reddit’s product, with the goal of making Reddit more accessible to a broader community of people.
“A lot of it is delving into the community and figuring out how news spread within subreddits,” Luckie said. “I’ve been on Reddit for 8 years now as a lurker. It’s crazy. I don’t think I’ve done anything for eight years, including Twitter. Now, I want to look at it in an official capacity. I’ll delve into data, analyze the links going in, profile pages — all of this stuff that can be used to quantify news. I’m a spreadsheet kind of guy. I want to get in there and get my hands my dirty.”
Luckie will also be working with Upvote, an editorial product Reddit launched back in October. Luckie officially starts on February 22, and will be working out of Reddit’s NYC office.
Reddit has not released a diversity report, so it’s hard to say if Luckie will be in good, diverse company or not. That said, he seems optimistic and excited about joining the team, noting that it was thrilling to see that there are other black people who work at Reddit.
“I want to bring that element of diversity to Reddit, both internal and external — being a black employee who can be the voice of underrepresented communities and externally to show that diversity is possible. It’s sometimes about stepping outside of your immediate network of friends and finding the right hire.”
That’s basically what happened with Luckie. Someone at Reddit recommended Luckie for the position, which led to Luckie meeting with Reddit co-founder and executive chairmanAlexis Ohanian and other senior level executives at Reddit. During those meetings, it became clear that Luckie was the right person for the job. As head of journalism and media, Luckie is also tasked with building out an ideally diverse team of people to work for him.
“The great thing since leaving Twitter is I’ve talked to engineers, coders, journalists — all these people who are looking to make the most of their career,” Luckie said. “I have a digital Rolodex of people to call on. It’s all about who you know.”
Since making a concerted effort around diversity, Luckie said, he’s met a ton of new people he likely wouldn’t have otherwise met. He added, “You have to extend your hand and let people know you’re thinking about diversity and that’s where diverse candidates come from.”