Sign of the Times? Grey Lady’s New Editor Has Never Tweeted Before


A lot has been said over the past few years about the growth of new media and the decline in readership and influence for dinosaur print outlets like the New York Times or Newsweek. Part of their decline is a result of the rapid spread of social media and the inability of these large, traditional outlets to keep up with a fast-paced, younger journalism environment.

On Wednesday afternoon, New York Times announced a new executive editor in Dean Baquet, officially making him the highest-ranked black editor in the history of American journalism.

That fact can be read as a positive sign of the times in that racial disparities in the newsroom are in the process of closing as we move further and further away from more segregated times.

But going back to the lede graf of this post, there’s another sign of the Times (pardon the cringe-worthy double entendre) in Baquet’s hiring: He has never tweeted before. As Mashable’s executive editor Jim Roberts helpfully pointed out:

To be fair, Abramson had a small digital footprint as well. Her last tweet is bordering on two years old. Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see how the Times adapts to an ever-changing digital environment with a leader who has zero Twitter interaction.

And with all that in mind, it’s especially interesting to recall the recent findings of an internal Times report on how the paper can better itself:

“The report concludes that the masthead needs to make further structural changes in the newsroom to achieve a digital first reality, including having a senior editor focused on audience development, another group focused on analytics and an advisory strategic arm.”

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