Liz Heron has a new gig. The emerging media editor has left the Wall Street Journal “to take a new job at Facebook centred around the news,” she announced on Wednesday. Facebook is following in the footsteps of Twitter, who hired Vivian Schiller of NBC to facilitate partnerships between the micro-blogging platform and news organisations.
“In this new role, I’ll have the opportunity to work directly on how Facebook partners with journalists and media organisations, at a time when Facebook is putting a big emphasis on news and mobile, two things close to my professional heart… There’s so much news to be found here, sources to be developed, meaningful communities for journalists to build and experiments to be tried. Journalists – hit me up with your ideas!”
Heron already boasts an impressive resume, having progressed from The Washington Post to The New York Times before landing a role at The Wall Street Journal. She spoke recently at Social Media Week in New York City about the prominence of digital media in news, and the growing importance of collaboration between social networks and news organisations: “Mobile and social have become the same audience. We’ve trained all of our reporters around the world to be thinking more digitally. We’re doing a big headline shift to make headlines more shareable.”
It’s also been a big week for fledgling news site Vox.com, with two new hires joining its staff; science correspondent Susannah Locke and features editor Eleanor Barkhorn. Founded by Ezra Klein and previously referred to rather secretively as Project X, the main selling point of Vox is that it offers readers a series of “explainers”, so they can build a solid understanding of current events, instead of being dropped into the latest developments without any context or background information. Vox isn’t the first site to do this (Slate and Mother Jones are two popular sites who got there first), but its recent investment in journalistic talent shows it is serious about making news accessible.