Media News - Thursday, November 29, 2012
Start with a reporter who likes to be responsive to readers, is spontaneous and impressionistic in her personal writing style, and not especially attuned to how casual comments may be received in a highly politicized setting. Put that reporter in one of the most scrutinized and sensitive jobs in journalism – the Jerusalem bureau chief of The New York Times. Now add Facebook and Twitter, which allow reporters unfiltered, unedited publishing channels. Words go from nascent, half-formed thoughts to permanent pronouncements to the world at the touch of a key. The result is very likely to be problematic. And for that bureau chief, Jodi Rudoren, who moved to Israel from New York earlier this year, and her editors at The Times, it has been. In terms of social media, Ms. Rudoren has had a rocky start in her new position. Within a few days of taking the post, she had sent some Twitter messages that brought criticism, and had people evaluating her politics before she had dug into the reporting work before her. Now The Times is taking steps to make sure that Ms. Rudoren’s further social media efforts go more smoothly. The foreign editor, Joseph Kahn, is assigning an editor on the foreign desk in New York to work closely with Ms. Rudoren on her social media posts. The idea is to capitalize on the promise of social media’s engagement with readers while not exposing The Times to a reporter’s unfiltered and unedited thoughts. (New York Times)
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