Social media editors: condition terminal

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

The social media editor is dead:

The fracas has left veterans of the social web feeling both vindicated and a little bemused. On the one hand, social media has become so central to a newsroom’s mission that dedicated functionaries may be obsolete. On the other, doesn’t every outlet need a boy or girl wonder to lend a human touch to the Twitter handle? Whether it’s a day of reckoning or a sign of maturity for the social media editor, the role has never before been more embattled.
As one senior editor at a leading news outlet told me, “I both agree that the social media editor is dead and I just hired a social media editor.”

There was an awful lot of noise and very little signal around this discussion. The end state is pretty obvious:

  • Social media skills will be integral to all journalists’ work
  • The specialised social media editor will disappear
  • The need for dedicated community-centric editors will remain, but their role will be larger than just social media

Agree? Disagree?

community managementJournalistsSocial Mediasocial media editors

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Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.