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Gone are the days when news organizations had just copy editors and page designers. Today, there are newsroom titles like digital optimizer, audience analyst and executive mobile editor. As social media platforms have evolved so have job titles, along with the tools journalists use to communicate with audiences. In this series, RJI will learn more about these titles and the people who hold them.

This Q&A was edited for space and clarity.

Dhiya KuriakoseDhiya Kuriakose is the senior strategist for emerging media for NowThis, a news organization that creates short news videos and publishes them on social platforms. This is her third position with NowThis. Hired as an associate producer, she later became a social strategist and producer.

You’ve worked in a couple different roles at NowThis. Is senior strategist for emerging media a new job title for NowThis or an update to an existing job title?

It was a new job title at NowThis.

What inspired its creation?

NowThis works in a constantly evolving space and we treat each platform uniquely and give it equal attention. That understanding required the creation of the role to ensure a quality control even while testing and creating content on nascent platforms.

What are your job responsibilities?

I oversee all the emerging media platforms. I see those as the platforms that are still new to the news space and far from conventional means. My team tackles platforms including Snapchat Discover, Instagram, Vine, Tumblr and several platforms in China. My job involves working with the editor to determine the appropriate content for these very unique platforms and also working with the publisher to find the right format and scheduling around this content.

Describe your typical day.

The typical day starts with a sweep for stories from around the world and then sorting them to the platform they are the most appropriate for. Then those stories are assigned. While the creative director works on the visual look and feel, I typically jump into the numbers and analysis from the previous day. NowThis uses data to help inform the content and that's a big part of my daily job. Once we have clear lessons, I'll let the team know so we are all aware of what works best. The rest of the day is spent on staying on top of developing stories and making sure the team has everything they need to get the best content out as required.

What do you enjoy most about your work?

I love that it's such unchartered space. No one has set the lines for emerging platforms and we get to draw those ourselves. Learning while doing is a huge responsibility and a very exciting process.
What is the biggest challenge or hardest problem to solve about your work?

Figuring out where to spend time. There's a new platform every day and a new opportunity to grow. Using the resources available in the best way possible is my favorite thing to do but also one of the hardest things because you don't want to miss any chances. Deciding how much time and resources to delegate to any platform is always on the top of my mind. I never want one platform to suffer at the cost of another.

There are several social platforms out there. How do you decide which platforms to use?

We have a sense of content and an awareness of the landscape that has been refined over our time doing this. I work closely with the publisher before green-lighting any experiments or platforms that we want to try. Once we decide to launch, it starts small and based on response and engagement, we will scale.

Who does this position report to?

I report to both the editor and the publisher in varying capacities.

Jennifer Nelson  
Senior Information Specialist


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