The New York Times took a major positive step today in the integration between their print and digital properties by removing their Social Media Editor position. While this may sound backwards at first, it’s actually a sign that the NYT has adopted social media and is embracing today’s media world – just hear us out.
Over the past few years Jennifer Preston has been the NYT social media editor. In this position her most important responsibility was educating NYT reporters and editors on how they can use social media in their current roles. At this time, the NYT apparently feels it has successfully educated its employees and now wants to focus becoming one medium that combines print, digital and social. Simply put, the NYT understands that media organizations shouldn’t divide their print editions form their online, iPad and mobile subscriptions. It is all the same brand to consumers, and an aligned outlet with all of its properties functioning together successfully will be more powerful and useful for readers.
So while the NYT sees how important it is to have one overarching brand, it still needs to make sure its reporters are educated about the latest social media tools. Sure, they’re using Twitter and Facebook, but location-based social networks have exploded and it’s important that these new developments in social media and digital media won’t be overlooked. So while they don’t need a social media editor to do this, they do need social media education. But the way that the paper is approaching the collide of the print and digital world, it appears they are aware of where the media world is headed (and where it has been for a while now). We’ll take this as a positive sign.