New York Times Hires a Social Media Editor

Filed as News on May 27, 2009 6:49 am

Regardless of your political leaning, you would be hard pressed to dispute the fact that the New York Times was at one point the most significant print news source on the planet.

Ravaged by accusations (and some proven cases) of plagiarism and an era of shaky old-school media, the New York Times, like many tabloids, is looking to the Web for salvation. Taking one step closer to the virtual silver bullet that isn’t, the Times announced the addition of a new position today: social media editor.

Landing the gig is Jennifer Preston, a long-time journalist with impressive credentials, including a teaching gig at Columbia University. Her social media juice, however, is a bit of a question mark.

According to an interview with FishbowlNY Ms. Preston says, “My plan is to work closely with editors, reporters, bloggers and folks here across the newsroom to explore together how we can use these tools journalistically.”

The movement that has made the general public part of the news reporting process is expected to continue to grow exponentially in the foreseeable future. The new position at the New York Times is yet another indicator that this trend is continuing to gain speed.

Covering Web 2.0 and engaging social networks in a responsible fashion, all in a way that lives up to the NYT journalistic standard is a full-time job. We’re sure Jennifer will have her hands full. Very full. But we wish her the best of luck!

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