The New York Times Hires a Social Media Editor; Does It Need One?
In a recent post on our Delicious page a classmate posted an article from Mashable on the NY Times hiring of Social Media Editor. This article caught my eye specifically, as I am curious as the permanent placement of these journalists in the physical org structure of the print world. It’s one thing to have your local weekly paper’s fashion columnist tweeting about local store sales, or the larger magazines alerting you on facebook of their next event. The Times is a different story (pardon the pun) altogether in my opinion. This takes a step into social media world that leaves a footprint. From a PR perspective, it further the question, “How do I pitch?” Where is the impact of the story that I want the pub to cover going to have the most impact? From a consumer perspective, as a daily digester of all things NY Times, it garners a certain sense of credibility. The NY Times, a daily paper, is accepting the impact of social media, to the extent that they are acknowledging that a staff member needs to be added (note- also interesting, how would you have a resume that exploited credibility in this area? Based even on what we’ve learned in class, creating a blog makes you a journalist in mere minutes; what’s to prove that a social media “expert” exists? I’m guessing that number of Facebook friends doesn’t justify a hiring. Also to note- although there isn’t a formal announcement yet, the woman chosen for the position, Jen Preston, was Regional Editor for the NYT.) I agree with Mashable’s take- it’s great that the Times is taking a proactive approach, and implementing someone in a ‘overseer position’ for Social Media. However, I think the impact of this position in the journalism industry, specifically, how well Ms. Preston is effective in her position, will be telling. Is this position necessary? I guess we’ll have to follow to find out. NYT_JenPreston.