Memo: Departure of AP’s social media editor unrelated to new guidelines

Romenesko Memos
Lou Ferrara, AP’s managing editor for sports, entertainment and interactive media, has written a memo explaining that the release of AP’s new social media guidelines was unrelated to the departure of Audience and Engagement Manager Lauren McCullough. The timing was coincidental, he wrote, noting that the guidelines had been in the works for some time. AP spokesman Paul Colford told me Friday that the new guidelines combine the original policy, written in June 2009, and some memos that had been issued since then. The update, he said, also is unrelated to a recent warning about the use of social media. Ferrara alludes to some upcoming “cool” social media strategies as well.

The full memo:

From: Ferrara, Lou
Sent: Thursday, July 14, 2011 9:02 AM
To: Ferrara, Lou
Subject: AP Social Media


There have been a few inquiries about the state of social media after the release of the updated guidelines this week and the coincidental departure of the social media editor.

Day to day social media efforts that we’ve developed over the past three years will continue as they have via the Nerve Center. If you have questions about social media operations, they can be directed to DME Tamer Fakahany or AME Ted Anthony. Standards questions should continue to go to DME Tom Kent.

I will be taking the editorial lead on a couple of key social media strategies in coordination with SVP for Digital Strategy and Products Jim Kennedy and his team. We hope to say more about them in the near future, and a few other folks in the News Department should be helping with the efforts. Here’s what I can say: They’re very cool and follow the path of innovation we’ve pushed over the past few years.

We expect to post the social media editor job in the very near future. The landscape for social media is quite different from when we embarked on our efforts years ago and created such a job from scratch — one of the first in the industry. We expect a competitive internal and external candidate pool.

We will continue to address training and our guidelines as needed. The updated guidelines released this week had been scheduled for some time, after being in the works for several months.

Please let me know if you have any further questions. And please feel free to distribute this to staff.


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  • Anonymous

    Steve, when will AP rule on lowercase internet?

    Here are ”Four reasons why American media should lowercase ‘Internet”’ oped from CSM

    It hasn’t happened yet in the lower 48, Alaska, or Hawaii, but it’s bound to happen soon: major style guides lowercasing the word “Internet.” And on that day when the style desks of The New York Times and the Associated Press finally issue a press release about the need to start lowercasing Internet in all news articles, headlines, and blogs, we will know that America has finally woken up to web-based reality. We don’t capitalize words like Radio or Television or Motion Pictures anymore, do we? Once, of course, we did. Now, we know better. However, regarding the Internet, we are still behind the curve, behind the British, lost in capitalization land. The Guardian and the BBC websites got it right, long ago. We need to play catch up. Now.Here are four reasons to lowercase “Internet”:
    - Dan Bloom