Role of Magazine Editors, Rise of the Chief Digital Officer, Social Media Hearings, Atlantic’s New Idea Section, Women in Media

Welcome to Technology for Publishing’s roundup of news, stories of interest, and tips for media industry pros! It’s turning out to be a very busy week as we include posts on the changing role of magazine editors, publishers elevating chief digital officers to the C-suite, a Senate hearing on social media problems, the Atlantic’s new Idea section, and more.

  • Calvin Klein show, Fall Winter 2018, New York Fashion Week, USA - 13 Feb 2018In the platform era, the role of magazine editor is morphing—or, some would say, waning. As WWD reports, brands are increasingly bypassing magazine editors, once considered “arbiters of taste” and the “gatekeepers between brands and consumers,” and connecting with audiences either directly or through a growing number of social media influencers. So where does that leave today’s editors? “It’s complex,” says one industry expert, noting editors are now perhaps more “opinion leaders” vs. “power brokers.”
  • In contrast, the role of chief digital officer is on the upswing at many media companies. As seen at Hearst, which recently elevated CDO Troy Young to president as David Carey departs (see This Week in Publishing), top publishers are moving digital leaders into the C-suite as they look to tech, data, and platforms to drive business and editorial strategies, a Fipp post says. “Strong digital media performers are tech companies as much as they are content creators,” Google fellow Lucy Küng notes in the article.
  • Tech companies—Facebook and Twitter at least (Google was a no-show)—faced the scrutiny of Senate leaders in a hearing on everything from Russian election meddling and privacy violations to the increasing volume of fake video and charges of political bias. Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey acknowledged they were “slow to act” and “unprepared and ill-equipped for the immensity of the problems” when they came to light, but the execs told lawmakers that they are committed to making the needed changes. The hearing was scheduled ahead of the November midterms as Congress looks for “fresh assurances from the tech industry that it is prepared,” a Washington Post report says.
  • The Atlantic launched a new Ideas section that will feature just that: an exchange of diverse thoughts and opinions from around the world, in the form of “incisive and intelligent analysis, essays, and commentary,” says Atlantic EIC Jeffrey Goldberg. The goal, he says, is to provide fact-based context and perspectives that elevate—rather than quash—debate: “At a moment when so many people are engaging in political debate by talking past one another, Ideas will be a place where writers of varied persuasions engage one another in good faith.”

On the Technology for Publishing Blog

  • Women in Media: Our new roundup of industry movers and shakers includes Nylon EIC Gabrielle Korn, who shares her approach to the magazine’s digital transition; top NatGeo execs, discussing how the brand competes in modern media; Medium VP Siobhan O’Connor, on shifting to a subscription-based model; and Elisabeth Goodridge, who explains her role as editorial director of NYT newsletter strategy.
  • InDesign Tip: Great news! You can now use Photoshop or Illustrator keyboard shortcuts in InDesign. TFP’s Monica Murphy shows you how it works.
  • ICYMI: Managing virtual teams can be challenging. Our latest Book Picks can help, with insights and tools for greater success.
  • Also check out our latest Infographic Pick, which looks at why marketers and other content providers often fail to use their data effectively.

WWD Photo: Neil Rasmus/BFA/REX/Shutterstock

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Posted by: Monica Sambataro

Monica Sambataro is a contributing editor and copyeditor for Technology for Publishing. Her publishing background includes work for leading technology- and business-related magazines and websites.