BBC News appoints its first Social Media Editor

BBC News has appointed Alex Gubbay as its first Social Media Editor. Alex is currently Interactive Sports News Editor for BBC Sport, and will take on this new role in January, leading editorial development of user-generated content and social media initiatives across the Newsroom. He will coordinate the work of correspondents and reporters using social media tools, ensuring best practice is developed and shared within BBC Journalism.

He will manage the existing User Generated Content hub within BBC Newswire, coordinating high-quality UGC newsgathering and effective comment and debate on all of the Newsroom platforms. The hub is a central part of BBC News - generating newsmaking material on stories including the Iran protests, violence in western China, and many UK consumer and social affairs issues.

Part of the role will be to help develop new ways for audiences to have their say on stories being covered by BBC News, and to ensure technology is developed to support the social media and UGC operations across BBC Journalism.

Audiences have always contributed directly to the BBC’s newsgathering, especially on breaking stories. The technology to allow people to send in photos, video, eyewitness accounts and comment develops all the time. In common with other media organisations the BBC wants to ensure this is as simple as possible for our audiences to do, and deepen our relationship with them in the interests of strengthening our journalism.

Mary Hockaday, the BBC’s Head of Newsroom, said: “Alex Gubbay is one of BBC Journalism’s most experienced interactive editors - with a strong understanding of how our audiences are using the internet and other digital services. His track record running the popular and successful BBC Sport website, and his strong editorial pedigree, make him an ideal person to lead the development of our use of social media.

“The way audiences consume and interact with news is changing. New social media platforms allow audiences to get, share and comment on the news, and are becoming distribution channels in their own right. Alex will lead our work in this area to build an open relationship with our audience, and make sure our distinctive journalism reaches as many people as possible.