New role at Washington Post: world/national security producer

Quick update from the The Washington Post newsroom: starting July 1, I will join the foreign desk as the world and national security producer. Anup Kaphle (who has been the world/national security web editor on the Universal News Desk) and I will be moving from the UND to work directly with the world and national security teams.

I’ve had a great experience working with the health, science, environment and wellness reporters and editors since I joined the Post in December and am very excited at this new opportunity be a full member of the foreign editing team — truly integrated with the section.

Stay tuned!

Slides from Link Journalism presentation at New York Press Association 2010

Quick update: I attended the New York Press Association (hashtag #NYPA on Twitter) spring convention this past weekend, where I led a session on link journalism. As I had hoped, the participants asked questions throughout and we had a good discussion.

The slides are embedded below (RSS subscribers will probably have to click through to Slideshare or this post to see it). They are based on a presentation Scott Karp gave at the SPJ national convention in August 2009 and a workshop Josh Korr led at Berkeley last month.

Of course, I added my own examples and personal touch — enjoy!

What’s next? I’ll be returning April 7 to Virginia Commonwealth University, where I visited a graduate journalism class last October. This time I’ll be speaking about new media (can we drop the “new” already?). VCU journalism professor Marcus Messner, who got his doctorate from UM (go Canes!), will be posing some questions before a Q&A with students.

The event, Are We There Yet? A Road Map for Tomorrow’s Journalist, is a day-long conference organized by the student SPJ chapter. Short answer: No, I don’t think we’ll ever be “there.” Things will continue to constantly change, so we need a compass — not a roadmap.

Anyhow, I had a great time during my last VCU visit and look forward to going back. Let me know in the comments if you have any points I should be sure to hit on during the session.

The role of a social media editor: Be a pusher and user…and so much more

Defining the role of a social media editor has recently become a hot topic after Jennifer Preston (@NYT_JenPreston), who holds that title at The New York Times, went one month without tweeting. For some context:

Taking a step back, why should any chief social media person even be called an editor? (For the purposes of this post, let’s not debate the use of “social media,” which I happen to like.)

One reason may be so it fits into the traditional print lexicon; thus, it’s easier to understand what that person does because the term sounds familiar. This isn’t horrible, but it’s framing the position in the wrong mindset.

Instead, this position should be established outside the context of any medium. Neither this role nor the person in it should assume the title and implied limitations of a comparable leadership position.

Whoever leads social media at a news org should lead it for all platforms. And one manner that’s often forgotten is (brace yourself) human interaction.

All of this is not to prescribe a universal “social media editor” job description. I actually think that definition is something a news organization should outline on its own. (Like many things, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution.)

Thankfully, we have Twitter to help us simplify the various descriptions being proposed. Here’s my less-than-140-character response to a discussion started by Patrick Thornton (@jiconoclast), editor of

@greglinch social media editor twitter definition

“Social media editor should be a pusher and a user. Moderate, communicate, curate, facilitate & educate.”

I’d recommend reading the other responses, which you can follow and respond to with the hashtag #smed.

How would you define the role of a social media editor?

SND New York City meetup livestream, Saturday from 1-5 p.m. EST

I’ll be livestreaming the Society for News Design New York City meetup from 1-5 p.m. today at the New York Times.

Follow the Twitter hashtag #sndnyc. For those reading in RSS, the video and chat embeds are below.

Live TV : Ustream

The schedule:

1:00 — Opening remarks
1:15 — Nigel Holmes on visual communication
2:15 — Joe Hutchinson on being a better art director
3:15 — Sarah Slobin on the shift from print to online
4:15 — Matthew Ericson and Shan Carter on interactive graphics

CoPress announces hosting plan for college newspaper Web sites


(Full disclosure: I’m the CoPress community manager, as well as a core team member.)

In a major move to help college newspapers thrive online, CoPress has announced a plan to move interested papers to WordPress and host the sites for a low monthly fee, plus a minor initial setup cost.

Or, if you’re just looking for low-cost hosting sans WordPress, that’s also an option. If you go that route, you don’t pay the initial setup cost.

What’s the advantage? Well, when you consider how much money your college news site could generate if you sold all the ads, and therefore took in related revenue, choosing CoPress could pay for itself.

Not to mention the fact that you have complete control over your site. That, in my view, is the most attractive reason. I oversaw The Miami Hurricane‘s move from College Publisher to WordPress last summer and wish CoPress existed at the time.

But, whereas our situation allowed us to make the move on our own, many school papers don’t have a server or the technical know-how to make such a move. Or, if you do, you can avoid a possible headache (particularly in transfering your College Publisher archives) with a little help from your friends.

That’s where CoPress comes in – we can do all that. Check out the post about the hosting plan.

For more information, visit the CoPress hosting page.

Leave a comment on the CoPress post or e-mail with any questions. Also, you can follow us on Twitter.