Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
Is it finally time for media companies to adopt a common publishing platform?
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.
Is it finally time for media companies to adopt a common publishing platform?
Media companies are each independently trying to solve the same technical problems, rather than focusing on competing with Facebook. Is the usual answer to “buy or build?” changing?
New limited-run podcasts are fun to listen to, but hard to sell. Can that change?
Plus: How the BBC is decentralizing political podcasting, and the battle of the Thanksgiving afternoon podcasts.
Polarizing the network: The most interesting new digital and social media research
Journalist’s Resource sifts through the academic journals so you don’t have to. Here’s their latest roundup, including research into how Twitter impacts reporters’ news judgment, how often we remember where we read something, and why Facebook makes you feel bad.