Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
Nothing against the “Death Star,” but the LA Times thinks its new daily news podcast can go where the biggies can’t
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.
Nothing against the “Death Star,” but the LA Times thinks its new daily news podcast can go where the biggies can’t
“When you say national, usually what that means is New York or D.C. We’re trying to read that so that the gravity is really coming out of Southern California and expanding outward from that.”
How The New York Times assesses, tests, and prepares for the (un)expected news event
Rather than hastily address issues in the months leading up to big events where we expected lots of reader traffic, we decided to take stock of our systems as a whole and enact longer term resilience measures.
I have come to bury Knewz, not to praise it
News Corp’s painfully named news aggregator promised to somehow battle “crass clickbait,” filter bubbles, media bias, and two trillion-dollar companies, all at once. It ended up being a D-minus Drudge clone and OnlyFans blog.