Times Dissolves Social Media Editor Post While USA Today Adds One — and Journal Plugs Ahead

The country’s biggest newspapers are taking different tacks on social media.

The New York Times recently dissolved its social media editor post after less than two years, while USA Today simultaneously appointed its first social media editor and The Wall Street Journal continues to plug ahead with an outreach editor who’s been in place for a year.

All three are trying to answer the same questions facing newsrooms everywhere: Should social media belong to a designated editor, to the whole staff or both? Is a staff evangelist for social media ever finished with her work? And what happens when the next big thing bubbles up?

Jennifer Preston, the New York Times editor and writer who stepped into the company’s new social media editor position in May 2009, considered her primary responsibility evangelizing.

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