Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
The New York Times’ Mark Thompson on how he’d run a local newspaper: “Where can we stand and fight?”
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
Oct. 28, 2011, 11 a.m.

Heron: “I think my job will probably not exist in five years.”

Why the social media editor job may be a transitional one.

Is the most up-and-coming job in journalism — the social media editor — a permanent position at news outlets, or a transitional role?

At a panel discussing social media best practices at the Journalism Interactive conference this morning, The New York Times’ co-social media editor, Liz Heron, said that her own position probably falls on the side of transitional. “I think my job will probably not exist in five years,” she said.

But! That’s “not because social media will die out or fade,” Heron noted. Quite the opposite. We’re in a moment of disruption right now — social media may be slowly transforming some formerly standard newsroom practices (and formerly standard newsroom assumptions), but, for all their impact, they’re not universal. Twitter and Facebook and social news in general are still things that need to be learned — and, within the newsroom, advocated for.

That won’t be the case for much longer, Heron suggested. (As Heron’s co-panelist, NBC’s Jim Long, put it: In a few years, having a social media editor will make as much sense as having a telephone consultant.) As social media become more diffusive, their impact will be, as well. Social media, and innovation in their use, will become more of a team effort. And so, Heron said, “it’ll be less necessary to have one person in charge.”

Image by Widjaya Ivan used under a Creative Commons license.

POSTED     Oct. 28, 2011, 11 a.m.
SHARE THIS STORY
   
 
Join the 50,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
The New York Times’ Mark Thompson on how he’d run a local newspaper: “Where can we stand and fight?”
“I believe that if you’re producing journalism of value, there is no reason to expect that consumers wouldn’t be prepared, in some way, to support that — potentially to pay for it. And that’s probably, ultimately, true of regional and local journalism as well as national and international journalism.”
Newsonomics: Can The New York Times avoid a Trump Slump and sign up 10 million paying subscribers?
And what lessons can the rest of the industry draw from the Times’ outsized success?
How Your Voice Ohio worked with Youngstown’s WFMJ to highlight solutions in the opioid crisis
“If it’s half of what we think it could be, then everyone here is going to reach more people with this subject of such critical importance here.”