The allure of social media, as any regular user well knows, is that it offers unfiltered access to minute-by-minute thoughts, reflections and observations of the people one follows. That is true whether principally follow friends, celebrities, or the journalism twitterati.
So when I read the news that Jodi Rudoren, the Jerusalem new bureau chief for the New York Times, now has to have all her tweets and Facebook posts looked over by an editor, my eyes just about rolled straight out of my head.
For those who haven’t followed the controversy, Ms. Rudoren has made some controversial tweets in her short tenure on the Jerusalem beat that have ruffled feathers both from the right and the left. In one breath she has praised the work of writers considered anti-Zionist, and in the next she descri
bes grieving Palestinians as “ho-hum.”
I understand that this can be upsetting for higher-ups to see, but introducing an editor to a social media feed completely defeats the purpose. Anybody who has had to rely on an editor to approve anything breaking can tell you that it removes all the immediacy from content. And live tweets without immediacy have no purpose.
So it’s my opinion that if the Times editorial board is unhappy with the work she is doing, and they should part ways and call it a day. If they’re happy with the long-form work she is doing and don’t want to let her go, then urge restraint and trust that she can do her job.
The only thing that adding editorial filters does, besides slowing down the process, is reinforce the notion that traditional media just doesn’t “get it.”