Is the role of the social media editor really “dead”? Rob Fishman thinks so. In a widely circulated BuzzFeed piece published Wednesday, Fishman argues that newsrooms don't need social media editors like they used to.
At many news organizations, “social media” has become something of a catch-all, a not especially descriptive term for highly differentiated functions. Editors think about social sharing as they’re assigning stories; writers use social channels to find sources and confirm leads; designers incorporate social media buttons and widgets into site redesigns; tech teams optimize pages for social discovery; and salespeople increasingly sell brands on their sizable social audiences. Each of these might require its own hire or department.
Once the province of a single point man, social media responsibilities are now frequently dispersed across the newsroom.
Fishman, a former social editor, quotes one unnamed editor who told him: “I both agree that the social media editor is dead and I just hired a social media editor.”