July 7, 2017

Months after its merger with Gizmodo Media Group, Fusion has changed its name to Splinter, its editor in chief announced in a press release this morning.

In a brief statement announcing the new name, Splinter Editor-in-Chief Dodai Stewart drew a line between the agitation and pain that comes from splinters and persistent watchdog journalism alike.

“We firmly believe in telling the truth about outdated institutions and calling out injustices when we see them — and sometimes the truth hurts,” Stewart said in a press release. “Splinter will contextualize current events while remaining committed to amplifying underrepresented voices, shining a light on systemic inequality and skewering politicians when necessary.”

In the release, Fusion described Splinter as “a news and politics site for a justice-minded, inclusive and incisive audience.”

Business Insider, which first reported news of the rebranding, notes that it comes after a period of ambiguity within Gizmodo Media Group about what the exact identity of Fusion should be in the wake of its merger with Univision’s larger portfolio of websites.

There has been confusion broadly about Fusion.net for months.

Fusion.net, a Univision site that merged into the former Gawker Media sites known as Gizmodo Media Group, became Fusion.kinja.com in May when the Fusion television channel, a separate entity operated by Univision, assumed the Fusion.net domain.

GMG site leads and executives took weeks to develop a rebranded name for fusion.kinja.com, which some view as an opportunity for the site to have a fresh start after years of traffic woes and occasional confusion over the divergent missions of the television channel and the website.

Reaction to the new name among journalists on Twitter was mixed, with some drawing parallels to Master Splinter, the wizened rat/martial arts guru who instructs the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (sometimes the media business is weird).

Stewart explained the thinking behind the name in a tweetstorm Friday afternoon:

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Benjamin Mullin is the managing editor of Poynter.org. He previously reported for Poynter as a staff writer, Google Journalism Fellow and Naughton Fellow, covering journalism…
Benjamin Mullin

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