The New York Times has assigned an editor to oversee the social media use of its Twitter-happy Jerusalem bureau chief, Jodi Rudoren, according to its public editor, Margaret Sullivan. This isn’t out of nowhere, considering Rudoren’s history of Twitter-related controversies. What’s interesting is the tone of Sullivan’s explanation:
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.