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The days when social media engagement meant assigning an intern to run your feeds are long over. At least, that’s what we heard from The Atlantic’s Matt Thompson on Episode 162 of the Mediatwits. You have to have creativity, analytical skills, reporting capabilities, good judgment and strategic sense to be an “engagement editor,” the new vogue title in digital newsrooms. The high bar makes sense considering the impact engagement editors have on audience perception. Engagement is no longer about just keep track of letters to the editor or patrolling the comments, according to Elia Powers in a story on MediaShift. They are often the public face of the publication and, as Jack Murtha describes in Columbia Journalism Review, will have to publish in circumstances that would give other journalists pause. They also have to be aware of all the publishing platforms out there especially as some are calling platforms the future of news. A succinct way of putting it comes from John Ketchum of Center for Public Integrity, who describes an engagement editor’s role as being “a vessel between the audience and the staff.” We’ll ask our guests to decode the job of the engagement editor on this week’s Mediatwits with guests Justin Banks, deputy editor of audience for the New York Times; John Ketchum, engagement editor at the Center for Public Integrity; Elia Powers, assistant professor of journalism and new media at Towson University; and regular guest Andrew Lih, at American University. MediaShift’s Mark Glaser will host, with Jefferson Yen producing.

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