WAN-IFRA

A publication of the World Editors Forum

Date

Thu - 17.04.2014


social media editor

How has social media changed the news? It’s a question so big that it’s almost impossible to answer, but it’s one that a panel at the Social Media World Forum tried to get their teeth into today.

In a session titled “social media and the news” speakers picked out a few core areas in which social media has altered – and is continuing to alter – the way journalists work.

- Breaking news

Starting with the most obvious point, social media has revolutionised the way news can be broken and how fast it can be spread. Peter Bale, vice president and general manager of CNN, used the classic example of the way that reports of Osama Bin Laden’s death spread on Twitter to illustrate how quickly news can now move on social networks. Anthony Simon, senior digital campaigns manager for the UK Prime Minister's Office also pointed out that “it’s difficult to embargo stories for a long period of time” in the modern media world. Both sources and journalists have to adjust to this new reality of fast-moving news.

- The proliferation of sources

Author

Hannah Vinter's picture

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-03-28 18:33

Liz Heron, a key social media editor at The New York Times, is moving to the Wall Street Journal to take up the position of director of social media and engagement for the WSJ Digital Network.

 “In this pivotal role, Liz will lead a growing team that will be ever more focused on deepening the engagement we have with existing readers globally, as well as expanding our audiences, both on our own platforms as well as in social media,” said Raju Narisetti, WSJ’s managing editor for digital, in a memo reproduced on Capital New York.

Heron also announced her move on her Facebook page, where she has more than 380,000 subscribers. In a later update, in response to those who have asked if there will be a war between the two papers over her subscribers, she said that “The Times is too enlightened for that.” Nobody can “own” Facebook subscribers, she continued, adding that she hoped her fans will stick with her but that she has already suggested plenty of other NYT journalists to follow if they prefer.

Author

Emma Goodman's picture

Emma Goodman

Date

2012-03-16 17:53

It is a common wisdom by now that any journalist needs to have an active presence in social media. But explicitly defining that presence has proved difficult: on the one hand, it can be argued that journalists should be able to express their opinions freely in social media, for example, without having to consider if they correspond with their employer's views; on the other,

social media can be seen as another form of publishing, and journalists are representatives of their media companies when they post.

The issue came up recently when the Associated Press instructed its staff about the use of social media, Poynter reported. AP's memo was a reaction to its journalists' tweets about the Casey Anthony trial and gay marriage vote in New York. "These posts undermine the credibility of our colleagues who have been working so hard to assure balanced and unbiased coverage of these issues," said Tom Kent, AP's Deputy Managing Editor for Standards and Production, in the memo. "AP staffers should not make postings there that amount to personal opinions on contentious public issues."

Author

Teemu Henriksson's picture

Teemu Henriksson

Date

2011-07-08 16:13

Reuters is stepping up its social media efforts: the news agency named Anthony De Rosa as its new social media editor yesterday. De Rosa is currently a product manager and technologist at Reuters. Poynter published the memo announcing De Rosa's appointment.

As a social media editor, De Rosa's role will consist of integrating social networks, where news often breaks first, into Reuters platforms. He will assist Reuters journalists and editors "use social media tools to monitor news, report news, and find leads," according to the memo. De Rosa has obvious credentials to take up such a role: the New York Times called him "the undisputed King of Tumblr", referring to his top-ranking Tumblr blog, and according to NBC New York he is one of the top 20 people to follow on Twitter.

De Rosa's appointment is in line with latest developments at news organisations, as more and more of them are seeing social media as offering valuable tools for journalists, in addition to having huge potential as a traffic driver. Moreover, latest reports show that social networks are having an ever more integral role in their users' lives, which would make an expansion to the social media field a tempting option for any news outlet.

Author

Teemu Henriksson's picture

Teemu Henriksson

Date

2011-07-07 17:40

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