|Photo courtesy of Flickr user Keiyac|
In the midst of a new round of layoffs from legacy media company Dow Jones, Apple and Twitter have announced they will soon hire journalists to help run their news services.
What makes these announcements unique is the role journalists will soon play at the companies. Although many companies have former journalists on staff, this is one of the first times two tech-giants have expressed a need for journalists to, well, do journalism.
Apple is hiring editors to manage content for its News app, an aggregation platform that already has partnerships with 20 large media companies, and Twitter is looking for staff to run Project Lightning, a new Twitter feature which will compile feeds of live, breaking news. Although the job positions don't involve reporting at this point, the hiring announcements still mark a positive step forward for journalism.
On Twitter, journalists reacted with mixed feelings to the announcements.
The app was in the pipework. Now Apple is ready. Is this good or bad? "Apple is hiring journalists via @CNNMoney http://t.co/vWrR2Iqama"— Maria M. Garcia (@docmaria_garcia) June 20, 2015
Apple is hiring real-live human journalists/editors. We're not dead, y'all! http://t.co/gCEQ4R9Yz6— Nicole Hill (@nicolemhill) June 19, 2015
Although I can understand the hesitation to accept Apple and Twitter as the next big players in media, I am hopeful that the new hires will help usher in a new era of journalism. Legacy media companies simply cannot keep up with the pace of innovation in news. Debt plus layoffs at news organizations is not a good equation for helping a company find new sources of monetization.If Apple is hiring humans to curate news feeds, does that mean they will ultimately be controlling what rumors & facts get shown to us?— Ken Tyma (@kentyma) June 19, 2015
In contrast, tech companies like Apple and Twitter have a wealth of resources, both in money and in talent, to experiment with new models for journalism. The results of Apple News and Project Lightning, and the way in which readers respond to these platforms for news, will surely be telling of the future of journalism.