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Content Distribution for the Digital Age: A talk with Ed Bleier and Alan Wurtzel at Newhouse NYC

By Casey Russell

It’s no secret that the way Americans consume media content has drastically changed since the dawn of the digital age. Netflix reigns supreme over the legacy broadcast corporations, social media has replaced the newsstand as the number one source for news, and publishers are furiously trying to adapt to a landscape whose topography shifted from a flat prairie to a steep mountain.

That was the subject of conversation for Thursday, April 19’s Newhouse NYC panel at Syracuse University’s Fisher Center in midtown Manhattan. Ed Bleier (‘51), former Warner Bros. president and former ABC senior executive, invited his longtime friend Alan Wurtzel, former president of NBC Research, to speak about the changing media landscape and what that means for content and distribution.

The talk, titled “Fighting for the Future: Must Content and Distribution Be Combined?,” gathered a crowd of about 50 people. Attendees included current Newhouse NYC students, guests of the panelists, and NYC-based Syracuse University and Newhouse alumni.

Ed Bleier (’51)

While Bleier attended Syracuse University, he wrote for the Syracuse Herald Journal and worked for several radio stations. During the summers, he was a copyboy for ABC News, and quickly rose through the ranks. By the 1960s, he was a senior executive at the media company and oversaw ABC’s first block of Saturday morning cartoons, including Warner Bros. famed Looney Tunes franchise.

As president of Warner Bros., Bleier was part of the teams that created MTV, Nickelodeon, TMC, and other household-name cable TV stations.

One of Wurtzel’s biggest accomplishments as president of NBC Research was developing a new method to measure an individual viewer’s exposure across multiple platforms to any given TV program, called Total Audience Measurement Index, or TAMi. Although he retired last year, he still stays involved with NBC Research as a senior advisor.

NBCUNIVERSAL EXECUTIVES — Pictured: Alan Wurtzel, President, Research, Photo by: NBCUniversal

Wurtzel attended Oberlin College as an undergraduate and then received a J.D. from Yale University. Though not a Newhouse grad, he became an honorary Orange alumni when he presented at the panel.

Kicking off the panel by sharing data about today’s content consumption, Wurtzel explained that even a large percentage of older survey responders, who generally tend to be more technophobic, feel comfortable accessing their favorite programs online. His data also showed that older people feel that the way they consume television has changed over the past five years.

Bleier and Wurtzel carried on an hour-long dialogue about the changing media landscape before opening up for questions.

“The problem is not finding new ideas, it’s abandoning the old ones,” Bleier said referencing traditional media practices, both in business and in content creation.

For young media professionals on the cusp of entering the workforce, the fact that time-tested content distribution models are evolving is an assuring reminder of the power recent graduates can have in a new world.

“Someone’s got to do the job and it might as well be you,” Wurtzel said.

Casey Russell is a junior magazine major and a current Newhouse NYC student interning at The Whitney Museum and Blue Medium.


I Thought I Knew Everything About Social—Until I Became a Social Media Intern: 3 Newhouse NYC Students Reflect on Their Social Media Careers

For college students, social media is no foreign territory. Almost all college students have social media profiles, and they have watched the growth of almost any social media platform that exists. Maybe that’s why going into social media internships, students don’t expect to be doing things that feel brand new. However, they soon find out there is, indeed, a side to social media that they did not know.

According to Simone Oliver, Newhouse NYC’s social media professor and Facebook’s Editor of Magazine & Lifestyle Partnerships, different social media platforms come with different opportunities for brands.

Facebook is the largest opportunity to reach consumers in a non-intrusive way, and Twitter’s micro-messaging and micro-blogging nature harnesses immediacy,” says Oliver.

Instagram, on the other hand, has the potential to connect people around the world with brands in a more personal and visual way than most marketing strategies, and encourages customer participation and the power of hashtags, Oliver says, while Snapchat allows brands to connect to the 25 and under age group.

Understanding the roles of various platforms is just one aspect of what students might learn during a social media internship. Here, three Newhouse NYC alumni share what else they’ve learned while interning in the social space.

Leah Greene ‘16 (Advertising)

Newhouse NYC Internship: Social Media Intern at Young & Rubicam

Current Job: Community Manager at R/GA

Leah Greene, an account management and social media intern at Young & Rubicam during her Fall 2014 Newhouse NYC semester, did not initially want to be a social media intern.

“I didn’t use social media as much as most of my friends—I think I just thought it was boring or didn’t know what to post to it. When I first met with Cheryl, I told her that I definitely did not want an internship working in social media. I can’t really remember why, but I was sure I wanted to do traditional advertising,” Greene says.

However, her semester did not go quite as planned. She was an account management intern at Y&R, but her supervisor was managing social for Land Rover, which meant that she would be fulfilling the duties of a social media intern as well—even though she did not realize that at the time.

“I was looking into online conversation about the category and brand, pulling quantitative and qualitative data for wrap-ups and reports, writing copy for social posts, and curating content for our digital campaign,” Greene says.

Greene learned what it meant to be a brand in social—mainly how to develop the social strategy that guides tone of voice, target demographic, and which social channels to use. She clearly enjoyed her role, as she continued to work in social media at MRY, Tribal Worldwide, and now as a Community Manager for R/GA.

Chazz Inniss ‘17 (Magazine)

Newhouse NYC Internship: Digital Communications Intern at Oscar de la Renta

Unlike Greene, current Newhouse NYC student Chazz Inniss was passionate about social media from the start.

“Before my internship, I was well-versed in all things social. I regularly used Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. I loved social because it’s a fun way to connect with people. I have this saying ‘on brand’ and I always make sure my social media presence and my daily life reflect that,” Inniss says.

As a digital communications intern at Oscar de la Renta, Inniss assists his supervisor in planning social media content for the month, and doing competitive research and analysis on other brands.

“Honestly, no day is ever the same at my internship,” Inniss says. “I could go from one day planning Instagram for the next week and then the next day doing research and outreach on up-and-coming influencers.”

He says he still has the same love and passion he had for social media since he started his internship, but he does notice the differences between how a brand uses social media and how he does.  

“The true difference between how I use social media and how a brand uses it is that a brand has decades of reputation and history to go off of. For me, my brand identity is something new that I continue to develop as I go further in my career and life. Also, with my personal account there is a lot more room to have some fun. That doesn’t mean a brand doesn’t have room to explore and evolve, it just can come at a risk,” he says.

Christy Fox ‘17 (Advertising)

Newhouse NYC Internship: Digital Media Intern at Cosmopolitan

Current Job: Assistant Account Executive & Community Manager at Marina Maher Communications

Christy Fox was passionate about social media just like Inniss, and specifically sought out a social media internship for her Fall 2015 Newhouse NYC semester.

“My interest in working in social really stemmed from the passion I had for it in a personal capacity. I was never one to shy away from social media, as I’ve always had a positive impression on the power of social media as a communication tool,” Fox says.

During her Newhouse NYC semester, Fox’s internship at Cosmopolitan was very reporting heavy. She was responsible for taking metrics sent from the publisher and putting together a recap for her team that was digestible and helpful. Additionally, she kept her team up to date on trends and news that competitors were publishing.

“My first internship [at Cosmopolitan] was really interesting because Snapchat Discover had just launched, so I got to experience the platform in a really in-depth way that a lot of people in the field hadn’t had the chance to. This taught me the importance of keeping an eye on emerging platforms and knowing where and how your brand can play in that space,” she says.

Fox says each and every brand out there has a unique voice that a community manager is expected to learn and master, which is very different from that employee’s personality and tone.

“My view of social media did change after my internship because I never realized just how many hands are on deck to run any given channel. I always assumed it was just an intern behind a desk managing a Twitter or Facebook account, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. There are extensive teams dedicated to each and every platform a brand has, which is what makes social media so dynamic and exciting,” she says.

Deniz Sahinturk is a Magazine junior and a current Newhouse NYC student interning at Psychology Today.

Beyond Networking: How 4 Newhouse NYC Connections Transformed Into Valuable Contacts and Friendships


By Anna Leach

For many students, the Newhouse NYC program provides new opportunities to build their professional network. While off campus, they are introduced to professionals through their internships, alumni panels, classes, and a mentorship program, but many also pursue professional contacts on their own. The four former Newhouse NYC students below were able to build relationships that lasted beyond a single interaction and helped them gain footing in their careers.

Kaitlyn Frey ‘16 (Magazine) & Andrea Lavinthal ‘01 (Style & Beauty Director, People)

Newhouse NYC not only gave Kaitlyn Frey access to various professionals in the industry, but also taught her to be confident in reaching out to alumni she looked up to. During her Fall 2014 Newhouse NYC semester, Frey was surprised to find that so many people she contacted were friendly and receptive.

One of her key relationships came from a Newhouse NYC class assignment: a Twitter interview. Frey was familiar with People Style & Beauty Director Andrea Levinthal’s presence on Twitter (including her commentary on “The Bachelor”), and through a connection via Newhouse NYC Director Cheryl Brody Franklin, was able to interview her. After the assignment, she emailed a thank you and Lavinthal graciously invited her to visit the People office and chat in person.

For the rest of the semester, Frey stayed in touch with Lavinthal, cultivating the relationship slowly over time, as she did with other alumni she met–including People’s Deputy Style Director (and Newhouse alumna) Sharon Kanter.

“It was just staying on their radar and always being really professional when l I reached out. I wasn’t emailing them every month, but it was big things or smaller things like interacting on social media,” Frey said.

By keeping in touch in these subtle ways, Frey said she was able to stay near the top of both Kanter and Lavinthal’s minds. So, when Kanter saw an opening for a paid intern position at People, she contacted Frey and encouraged her to apply, knowing she could be a great fit. Throughout the interview process, Frey drew upon what she’d learned from both women and landed the position. That internship then evolved into a full-time role as Style & Beauty Editorial Assistant, and Frey still works closely with both women today.

STUDENT TIP from Kaitlyn Frey: Like people’s tweets and instagrams that you admire.

“By doing those little subtle things, they’ll remember I need to email so-and-so. Even though they may not respond, people know you’re there.”

Max Murphy ‘18 (Advertising) & Demi Douglas ‘16 (Coordinator, NBC News Digital)

Max Murphy said Newhouse NYC was his first foray into professional relationship building. As a Portfolio Sales Marketing Intern at NBC Digital during his Fall 2017 Newhouse NYC semester, one of the ways he began to networkwas by reaching out to others within NBC.

One of the contacts he made was with Newhouse alumna Demi Douglas, who was an Ad Sales Digital Planning Page at NBC at the time. From this relationship in particular, Murphy said he learned that networking can be a great way to learn about an industry or field of interest from someone on the “inside.”

“Every single person you network with has their own different thing. Demi was someone who was giving me the real low down on it. [For example,] I was asking about the Page program, and I felt like she would give me an honest answer,” Murphy said.

STUDENT TIP from Max Murphy: Use your days off to meet with someone each week.

“Having a face-to-face conversation is so powerful. Try and set up a coffee meeting every Friday. It won’t take up much of your time, and you’ll see new parts of the city all the time that way, too.”

Leah Greene ‘16 (Advertising) & Kristina Hahn ‘98 (Director of Americas Partner Solutions & Innovation, Google)

For Leah Greene, relationship building is rooted in genuine interest in other people, their lives, and their advice. Sometimes it’s about connecting someone to a job, however, it is also about finding people that can help you navigate and shape your career.  

One of people Greene said she grew closer to early on was Kristina Hahn. She initially met Hahn during her Fall 2014 Newhouse NYC semester, after Hahn gave the students a tour of Google. Greene said she sent a thank you email based on her notes and asked if Hahn would be interested in getting coffee, which turned into lunch. Ever since then, Greene says they have kept in touch, meeting up in person about every six months or so.

From Hahn’s perspective, since the beginning, she has appreciated Greene’s clear focus, authenticity, and commitment to actually forming a connection as opposed to just looking for a position at Google. From those elements, mutual respect allowed the relationship to grow.

“Her questions have always been (and remain) thoughtful. She also listened to me, acted on the advice, and then followed up. I can’t over emphasize follow-up enough,” Hahn said.

MENTOR TIP from Kristina Hahn: Know your own story and tell it well.

“Communication is about storytelling. What’s your story? Be articulate, and think about the skills you have and the skills you want to get.”

Lauren Cunningham ‘19 (Advertising) & Victoria Bergmann (Site Merchandiser, Orchard Mile)

Before attending Newhouse NYC, Lauren Cunningham knew there was a value to networking in terms of finding a job. However, her semester in the city gave her a deeper look into how professionalism is hugely foundational to relationships outside of school. She discovered networking isn’t “magic,” it’s more of a balance between putting yourself out there while maintaining respect. If you go beyond acting like a student and instead act like a professional, Cunningham said you’ll be treated like a professional instead of a student.

Cunningham met Victoria Bergmann through an introduction by Director Cheryl Brody Franklin.  Although not a Newhouse alumna (she has a B.S. in Economics from Syracuse University), Bergmann knew of the Newhouse NYC program through peers and different internship experiences from her own days as a student. The two were able to discuss not only Cunningham’s internship at the time, but also talk about more personal topics, like where to eat or advice regarding moving to New York from out of state.

Bergmann said she was excited to build a relationship with Cunningham (as well as other students) because it offers her chance to pay it forward to another generation. A huge component of networking, Bergmann said, is not only addressing your own needs, but helping others. And recent graduates are in a unique position to help students and can provide valuable feedback.

“Sometimes it can be intimidating talking to someone who has been in their industry for 10 or 15 years. Hearing from other younger people that they still struggle is a great feeling. You realize ‘It’s not just me,’” Bergmann said.   

MENTOR TIP from Victoria Bergmann: It’s okay if you’re not an expert yet, but always be willing to engage.

“Be able to talk to people, even if you’re not talking about the latest trends in ecommerce or Fashion Week. Even if it’s small talk, they know you can hold yourself in a professional atmosphere. By being confident, they have more confidence in you.”

Anna Leach is a senior Magazine and Information Management and Technology dual major and a current Newhouse NYC student interning at She’s The First.

Newhouse NYC Fashion Edition: 4 Outfits Perfect for Your Internship


By Demi Wang

If you Google “business casual,” you get a vague definition: “a style of clothing that is less formal than traditional business wear, but is still intended to give a professional and businesslike impression.”

What does this really mean, especially for interns who are new to office life?

Perhaps it’s because I’m an advertising major, but I see people as brands. They compete and sell brands of themselves every day for different goals. However, you can’t show a 20-page paper to everyone you meet about who you are and why they should like you. Fashion is the shortcut: a peek at the individual inside.

So, when it comes to impress and express in the working environment, how you dress is crucial (and maybe even more important than your resume). To further understand how “business casual” works in the real world, I interviewed four talented Newhouse NYC students from different majors who are currently interning at a wide range of companies in New York City this semester.


Maxine Williams ‘18 (Television, Radio, & Film)

Newhouse NYC Internship: Buzzfeed


Maxine Williams is the production intern at Buzzfeed, working to support the team’s producers in every step of video content production. When she first asked her supervisor about the dress code, her supervisor said, “Dress to express yourself.” It sounds like wear whatever you want, but it’s really not! So on her first day, she went safe–a grey sweater with nice pants–and observed what people wore. After getting the vibe of the company, she decided to keep a high standard of attire so that, in addition to impressing them with her work ethic and talents, she would also be remembered as “the intern who always dressed nice.”

“I like turtlenecks. They’re an easy way to dress up an outfit and stay warm!”


Wenqian Zhu ‘17 (Public Relations)

Newhouse NYC Internship: Allegravita


As Allegravita’s account management intern, Wenqian Zhu supports the account team in maintaining relationships with their clients. When she emailed her supervisor to ask what she would wear on the first day, her supervisor replied, “We don’t have a dress code; just be yourself.” So she went for a black shirt, wide-leg pants, and a pair of leather flats to be professional and comfortable in the office. Once she began interning, she noticed that everyone wore casual attire and her boss often wore jeans. However, she kept the standard she set on the first day to maintain a consistent personal style. She is the perfect example of being stylish-yet-comfortable at work.

“This is my typical go-to-work look. A basic kind of sweater and wide-leg pants will never go wrong.“


Chazz Inniss ‘17 (Magazine)

Newhouse NYC Internship: Oscar de la Renta


As Oscar de la Renta’s digital communications intern, Chazz Inniss supports the fashion brand’s social media content, assistants with running events, and produces video content. He was provided an intern contract with details on how to dress. Additionally, his boss told him that “Oscar de la Renta has a standard of excellence” and that casual attire, such as sweatpants and ripped jeans, is banned. On his first day, Inniss wore a black turtleneck sweater, black blazer, and black slim fit jeans. Everyone else in his office also dresses fashionably, since they work for a fashion brand. His trick of surviving in an office like that is to dress for the job you want, but don’t draw too much attention to yourself by wearing anything flashy or revealing.

“My office is a mix of business and casual, but with a creative edge. You’re tasked with being professional, but also showing a little bit of your personality with what you wear.”


Claudia Bellofatto ‘17 (Broadcast & Digital Journalism)

Newhouse NYC Internship: The Today Show


Claudia Bellofatto is a production intern at The Today Show, supporting the producers on pre-production research and sometimes on-shoot, as well. Her boss didn’t tell her anything about the dress code, but the message was clear after she sent another intern home because her skirt was too short. Bellofatto was thankful that on her first day, she wore a mid-length skirt, a black blazer, and heels, and was the most dressed up among all the interns. Bellofatto’s commuting trick: wear sneakers and change into heels when you get to the office. And always wear comfortable heels, which will make anything looks more professional. Lastly, she says, don’t wear anything you have to question.

“Loose-fitting pants that look professional are hard to find, so the pair I have on today were a huge win. The black turtle neck is warm, comfy, and I can change into a pair of nice jeans or even throw a skirt on for a totally different look.”

Demi Wang is a senior Advertising major and a current Newhouse NYC student interning at On Location Tours.

From Internship to Full-Time Offer: How 4 Newhouse NYC Alumni Made it Happen

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By Mary Catalfamo

It’s the question lingering in the back of every intern’s mind: Can I see myself working for this company? For those who can answer with a resounding “yes!”, the next thing to consider is how to make that happen. Several Newhouse NYC students have accomplished this during their semesters in New York City. Here are their stories and some best practices they suggest for turning your internship into a job offer.

Rona Shang (ADV ‘17), Analyst, CPG Effectiveness Team at Nielsen

Rona Shang spent her Spring 2017 Newhouse NYC semester interning at Nielsen, and as proof of her hard work, she was asked to stay on through the summer. So she was thrilled when, during the summer, her supervisor pulled her aside one day and asked her if she had started looking for jobs yet.

“Every single person on my team was incredibly transparent with me throughout this entire process and how likely it was going to settle before the end of summer or afterwards,” said Shang, who accepted their full-time offer shortly thereafter.

During her initial internship, Shang sometimes stayed until 9 p.m. to help her team manage the analytics for the advertisements that ran during the Super Bowl in 2017. She would advise current interns to never turn down tasks and to show a genuine, constant interest in the work of the company.

“Ask so many questions. Just be insanely curious about what you’re doing,” Shang said. “Not only do you learn so much from that, but it shows that you care and it shows dedication. And it really doesn’t go unnoticed.”

As Shang also pointed out, companies often hire interns as full-time employees because it is practical not to train someone brand new in the position. For instance, as an intern she was already producing a full analytical report each week and learning various tasks that their employees do.

Tessa Latrenta (ADV ‘17), Associate Sales Planner, Sports & Olympics at NBCUniversal

As a sports fanatic, Tessa Latrenta interned at NBCUniversal’s Sports & Olympics department during her Fall 2017 Newhouse NYC semester. In November, the company offered her an amazing opportunity: the chance to stay on as an Associate Sales Planner after she graduated in December and help with the Super Bowl LII, the PyeongChang Olympics, and the FIFA World Cup. Her current position with the group is a temporary one, she said, but she is confident a more permanent opportunity will materialize soon.

At first she wasn’t sure how to stand out as an intern in a large corporate setting, but eventually she found her way.

“Making yourself invaluable can just mean putting in the time and effort,” Latrenta said. “When somebody teaches you how to do something, make sure you know exactly how to do it, so next time you can just own it—maybe so your supervisor doesn’t have to do it anymore eventually.”

Hard work and going the extra mile were a couple other ways Latrenta learned to establish herself during her internship, leading to the incredible opportunities with NBCUniversal she has now.

“It’s more just showing your attitude and how much you really care and want to help,” she said. “I think that made a difference at internships I’ve had.”

Lindsay DeStefano (PR ‘17), Account Coordinator at Relevent

Lindsay DeStefano interned for the experiential agency Relevent during her time in Fall 2016 Newhouse NYC semester. One of the first clients she worked with was the tween clothing brand Justice, formerly known as Limited Too. She ran an online social media campaign and even hand-picked the client’s young brand ambassadors.

Relevent kept her on retainer, which allowed DeStefano to work into the spring semester of her senior year. Her internship and subsequent job with the company also took her temporarily to Miami and Chicago to work on projects.

During her internship, DeStefano prioritized displaying a hard work ethic and always making herself available for extra work.

“You want your supervisor to have the feeling that you’re not just there because you have to have an internship,” she said. “Even if they asked me to do a simple contact sheet, I put everything I could into that contact sheet.”

She advises trying to do the smallest of things perfectly, like taking a coffee order, because those tasks are often used to gauge if interns can be trusted with larger responsibilities. This thoughtful mindset is what DeStefano says she looks for now that she is involved in her company’s hiring process.

As a student in the Newhouse in NYC program, she said she learned to “take advantage of every single contact you have,” even if it’s to offer to babysit for a guest speaker. “Make sure you come out of the semester having at least two contacts.”

Kiara Bunting (ADV ‘17), Assistant Account Executive at Situation Interactive

After graduating in December 2017, Kiara Bunting now works at Situation Interactive, the same advertising agency she interned at during her Fall 2017 Newhouse NYC semester. She got her job after deciding to inquire about the position that would soon be vacant by her supervisor.

“I think my biggest concern was coming off presumptuous, like, ‘Well, I’ve been here, so it’s mine.’ Because it’s not,” she said. Already knowing many of the professionals involved in the hiring process was also helpful to her when she was interviewing, she said.

The former advertising major suggests that interns always offer up their time and services to their supervisors on a slow day. One of her biggest pieces of advice is to treat the internship period as a trial run for the job.

“Always show up fifteen minutes to half an hour early, because then if you’re running late you’re not actually late,” she also advised.

While students are part of the Newhouse NYC program, Bunting recommends taking advantage of being a part-time intern before becoming much busier in an employee role. “Take as much time as you can to be a student and relax,” she said. “Outside of your internship, take time to just enjoy where you are in life and where you’re going.”

Mary Catalfamo is a junior Newspaper & Online Journalism major and a current Newhouse NYC student interning at The Week.

Hear from Ed Bleier and NBC’s Alan Wurtzel on April 19 in NYC

Calling all Newhouse alumni and Newhouse NYC supporters in NYC: You’re invited to this event on Thursday, April 19 at the Fisher Center. Space is limited, so please RSVP as soon as possible to secure a spot! We hope to see you there!

Please join us for a timely, high-level discussion: 

“Fighting for the Future: Must Content and Distribution be Combined?”

Alan Wurtzel, Senior Advisor to NBCUniversal, recently retired as President of NBC Research, will have a strategic conversation with longtime TV/movie executive Edward Bleier ’51– who has focused his Newhouse NYC seminars about the radical changes in media with the industry’s leading executives.

Alan has played a unique and distinguished role in the evolution of television and media throughout the varying agendas of GE and Comcast as parent companies. His work appraised the past, evaluated the present and helped determine the future. He had the widest possible overview – particularly as Comcast became a leader in both “content” and “distribution” via TV, cable, Internet and other new technologies.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Light refreshments will be served at 6:30 p.m.
Dialogue will begin at 7 p.m.

Fisher Center
19 East 31st Street
Between Madison and Fifth Avenues

Please RSVP by Thursday, April 12 to

bleier wurtzel

Field Trip: An Insider Look at The New York Times Social Media Strategy

By Casey Russell, MAG junior and Newhouse NYC student

In a culture where it’s easy to become obsessed with how many Instagram likes that heavily-edited photo of your restaurant entree is getting, The New York Times understands that when it comes to social media strategy, it’s not always about quantity. It’s about quality engagement.

“Friend-to-friend sharing is the most important,” New York Times Social Media Director Cynthia Collins told our class.

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Cynthia Collins explains how she and her team tackled social strategy with their recent story, The Follower Factory.

This was one of the many takeaways we learned on Tuesday, January 30, when Newhouse NYC students in Professor Simone Oliver’s social media class had the opportunity to visit the New York Times office in midtown Manhattan, where we got a brief office tour and learned about the paper’s social media strategy and newest projects.

A Walk Down the New York Times’ Hall of Fame

The highlight of our office tour was when Staff Editor for the Styles section Joanna Nikas took us to Pulitzer Hall, where they keep plaques displaying and honoring their prize-winning content and the writers who wrote them. I’m a history junkie, so it was especially cool seeing the award for the Pentagon Papers.

Pulitzer Hall also illuminated why diversity is so important in newsrooms. Of the 122 prizes the Times has won, there were only two women who won Pulitzers from 1918 to 1970. That’s almost 50 years. It was nice to see the wall become more gender and race diverse climbing up in years to the present, but there’s still work that needs to be done across newsrooms to give voice to those who did not have it in the past.

A Peek Into the Paper’s Latest Projects

As social media director, Collins manages social promotion of day-in and day-out coverage and breaking news, but she also assists with planning social media strategy for bigger stories and special projects. That planning can take anywhere from a few days to several months.

For example, she just finished work on The Follower Factory, a longform article about identity theft and bots on Twitter. She showed us some cool graphs tracking the article’s views, and how readers got to the article. Not surprisingly, Twitter was the driving force for this story.

Above all, well-presented and well-written stories with killer headlines get the most attention on social media. That’s what Assistant Managing Editor Monica Drake and Staff Editor Joanna Nikas are tapping into for their new project, Surfacing.

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Monica Drake and Joanna Nikas started their new project, Surfacing, to explore subcultures around the world in a visually-appealing and well-reported way.

Surfacing hires people who can write, photograph, and execute social media for articles that explore subcultures around the globe. They’re hoping to experiment with vertical storytelling and in-the-moment reporting with Instagram stories.

Hearing about social media from the Times, a legacy media company that still receives a large portion of its readership and ad revenue from print, proves just how important social media is now.

“If you’re not listening on social, you’re missing the next story, or the next three stories,” Collins said.
A huge thanks to Professor Simone Oliver and the amazing staffers at the New York Times for showing us around and letting us see social from a new angle.


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