Today the New York Times named Jennifer Preston its first-ever "Social Media Editor." We speculated she would do comical stuffy-NYT-meets-freewheeling-internet activities like cracking down on newsroom Twitterers (and maybe trying out this "Twitter" herself?). We were correct:
Paid Content talked to NYT digital guru Jonathan Landman, who announced Preston's hiring via Twitter. They say "he denied Valleywag's speculation that Preston's role will be to clamp down on the newsroom's [Twittering]." What they meant to say was "he confirmed that she will do that":
"This isn't about policing, although that is a small function [of the social editor's role], but as only as a matter of making things consistent. It's not the main purpose at all," Landman told paidContent. "It's really just the opposite of policing. it's about helping everybody figure out how to use social media as a tool for journalists. A number of people have discovered social media a form for marketing and promotion, but it's also got explicitly journalistic uses."
In other words, watch for those Twitter guidelines soon, newsroom! [CLARIFICATION: Yes, she will clearly be doing many more things than just that. Come on.] Preston herself has gotten into the Social Media Spirit (which is socialism) by taking her own Twitter page (just started today!) off its "Private" setting, which was a little incongruous, and opening up to the world. Here, her very first public insight into bridging the gap between old and new media:
Pay her whatever she wishes.