Fusion Focuses on Social Storytelling with Two New Hires

Fusion hopes to foster a "social, digital-first culture" with micro-videos on Instagram and Vine.

Mariana Santos and Danilo Lauria are Fusion’s latest hires.

Fusion announced two new hires this morning, beefing up its efforts to reach the younger demographic through social media. Mariana Santos joins the network to lead a new interactive storytelling unit. She comes from The Guardian, where she was motion and interaction designer.

Danilo Lauria joins as social video manager. He’ll lead the production of micro-videos for social platforms like Vine and Instagram. “We know that young people are increasingly using their mobile devices to access news, social networks and entertainment content. If we are not reaching them there, we are not reaching them,” said Fusion CEO Isaac Lee in an email to staff. He said the new hires will help the news organization develop a “social, digital-first culture.”

Here’s the full memo from Lee:

Hola Fusion,
As we continue to focus on innovative storytelling across all our platforms, I am excited to tell you about some new additions to the Fusion digital team who will help us continue to develop a social, digital-first culture. We’re here to take risks and experiment, and these new team members understand how to push boundaries, innovate and tell great stories.
Mariana Santos joins us in Miami this month to lead a newly-formed interactive storytelling unit. Mariana comes to us from The Guardian in London where she was a pioneer in their newsroom, championing the power of animation to make stories more compelling and challenging traditional methods of storytelling.
We also welcome Danilo Lauria to the team in New York as our Social Video Manager. As new forms of storytelling continue to emerge, we continue to experiment with ways to deliver unique content on these new and evolving platforms. Danilo will be a member of a new team of producers dedicated to creating micro-videos for platforms like Instagram and Vine. Fusion isn’t just about what we’re putting on television – it’s also about the digital content we’re creating to complement and amplify that great work.
We know that young people are increasingly using their mobile devices to access news, social networks and entertainment content. If we are not reaching them there, we are not reaching them. Both Mariana and Danilo will be charged with devising new ways to take the excellent content you are all producing and translating it to these new platforms that, so far, have been untapped for breaking news and sharing information.
A Knight International Journalism Fellow, Mariana is extremely passionate about mentoring and empowering female journalists around the world. Last year she started a movement, Chicas Poderosas (translation: Powerful Girls), that has since helped more than 1,000 female journalists learn digital skills and use them in newsrooms throughout Latin America.
Mariana’s team of artists, developers and journalists from around the world will work together to create innovative visual and interactive stories for our audience. We’re focused on producing bold, unique content that is engaging, mobile and easily shareable – and Mariana is the perfect person to help us do that. Her team is already starting to take shape with talent coming to Fusion from countries that range from Brazil, Chile, and Costa Rica to England and Portugal.
An award-winning creative, Danilo has been recognized with a Clio Award, New York Festival Award, and made the Cannes shortlist. Danilo has previously worked for agencies including Alma DDB in Miami and S,C,P,F, one of Spain’s leading creative advertising agencies.
In a world where we have access to a deluge of information at our fingertips, the ability to tell a story in an easily digestible, visual form has never been more important. Mariana and Danilo will be essential in making sure Fusion is always taking advantage of new opportunities and evolving when it comes to storytelling in the digital and social space. It’s important to keeping us at the forefront of shaping a new dialogue with our community.

*Image via fusionlive.tumblr.com.