New generation could do differently

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November 3, 2010 by yanginusa Leave a Comment (Edit)

One Friend from DC told me that some old guys in their 50s or 60s dominated the Famous Newspaper. They are too arrogant to change.

Yes, they have their capital to be arrogant. They are Pulitzer prize winners. But sometimes the past rewards could consider the past. As a media person you have to return zero frequently. Otherwise the ever changing industry could outcast you.

Here is a kid, 22 years old, the age that the society could probably ignore. But he did differently. In a short he make Time facebook and twitter and over 2 million audience like it.

One well-known anchor told me that he cannot accept new media and will be the last person who hold the newspaper. How could I say? The world is always belonging to the new generation.

Dan Fletcher
Associate Editor, Special Projects, TIME

In May 2010, Dan Fletcher became the youngest person to ever write a cover story for TIME Magazine. What makes that even more impressive is that just one year before, Fletcher was an intern handling many of TIME’s early social media efforts on Twitter and Facebook. (The topic of his cover story? “Facebook…and how it’s redefining privacy.”)

Fletcher officially joined TIME in 2009 as social media producer/reporter and was the launch editor for the NewsFeed. “As an intern I would say ‘Hey, we got this story on Digg,’ or ‘Hey I’m doing this on Twitter,’” says Fletcher. “TIME saw the need for it and they formalized the structure when they brought me back in June. I took the Twitter feed over manually and posted a note saying ‘Hi I’m Dan, taking over Twitter feed.’ Even the response we got from that was tremendous. The audience likes to know there’s someone behind these things listening.”

Today, TIME has about 150,000 Facebook fans and more than 2.2 million Twitter followers (up from zero last January).

Fletcher pitched the Facebook story during one of TIME’s regular Friday “big idea” meetings. “I’m pretty junior, but they’re open to everyone coming in,” says Fletcher. “I said Facebook was doing very cool things with the ‘like’ button, and they said go find out about it. [Managing editor] Rick Stengel embraced the idea and it worked out well for us. When all the privacy stuff hit in April we had this story in the bank.”

Last month, Fletcher was promoted to associate editor of special projects. “My role in the last six months has focused on getting this news feed blog up and running,” he says. “One of the big things I want to do, and TIME wants to do as an organization, is be more entrepreneurial. That’s the nature of the Web—we need to get things out the door quickly. Under this new structure we will pick projects we can work on intensely for a short amount of time and get them out. I can’t tip my hat too much on the first one, but we’re interested in partnering with universities across the country.”

As a journalism student, Fletcher was never sure if he was going to make the jump to traditional media. “I coded my first Web site at age 12 and I had a photo blog in college, so I’m very much in the new media mentality,” he says. “Coming to TIME as an intern was an interesting transition. It’s been refreshing. The battle to convince print media that the Web is relevant was won before my time. Now we get to fuse all these bloggy ideas, and do guerilla work on social media networks, with one of the storied brands in journalism. It’s refreshing that opportunity still exists.”

About Yang

Yang is a senior journalist with Beijing Youth Daily, where he has worked for more than ten years covering local, business and real estate news. He travels to conflicted regions and disaster sites to cover world news for the paper. Yang has a bachelor's degree in economics from Beijing Polytechnic University.

View all posts by Yang →

One Comment on “New generation could do differently”

  1. Very good report! The competition between new media and traditional media is going on and new generation media is leading now and changing all sort of dynamics of communication. Its a challenge for the traditional media to cope with the changing situation.


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