The Associated Press has gone a step further in its social media strategy: Eric Carvin, an AP Nerve Center news producer and former National Desk editor, has been named the organization's social media editor, a press release announced.
Carvin, who has spent the past two years overseeing social media efforts at the news wire, engaging with readers and gathering user-generated content, "will work to ensure that social media becomes an integral part of every AP journalist's skills".
"This is a crucial role, based within the Nerve Center [the central editorial desk at AP's headquarters,] but one that will depend on daily interaction - strategizing, training and firefighting - with all the regions, verticals and formats", wrote AP deputy managing editor Tamer Fakahany in a memo reported by Jim Romenesko.
(Incidentally, Eric Carvin's brother is NPR social media desk senior strategist Andrew Carvin.)
The involvement of social media in the traditional journalism world is now out of any doubt. The role of a social media editor is becoming increasingly important and it's evolving to include even wider tasks. The growth of social networks as well as the role of an involved community is gradually means these new journalistic jobs are become more and more relevant.
AP attracted a lot of attention last November when it warned the staff against tweeting scoops before the news has been published on the official AP news wire, after staff arrested during the Occupy Wall Street protests in Zuccotti Park in New York, broke the news on Twitter before it was on the wire.
The event aroused controversy around the "don't scoop the wire" official rules, which feature in the AP social media handbook, as well as in the Reuters' one.
As previously reported, the new social media editor will be expected to enforce the rigorous new social media guidelines AP recently released by ensuring "that branded AP social media accounts are engaging and timely sources of breaking news".
Source: AP press release