The publication may look for legal action against the columnist
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 01/30/2013 -- The New York Times recently released its plans to cut 30 staff members, some of whom possess strong backgrounds n social media experience.
The moves seems to point to the fact that the paper is losing its Twitter readers, and it also seems to point out how media outlets and journalists must learn to work on their social media skill-sets.
Assistant Managing Editor Jim Roberts, who has overseen a multitude of the paper's digital initiatives, confirmed that he would accept a buyout and would certainly leave the paper. When he does leave, the Times will have lose both 26 years of experience, as well as many as 75,000 readers who follow Roberts Twitter.
The news of the likely departure came via Twitter and was first reported by Politico. In response to the question from paid Content about his followers, Roberts stated simply “@jefffjonroberts: My feed is my own.”
In an earlier tweet, Roberts had stated that he would have to “find a new handle,” and that pointed to one that did not hold the “nyt” title. Roberts did not respond to any follow up questions regarding the New York Times.
While the paper guts some of its workers sectors, it appears that it could be significantly hit in the Twitter department when it comes to overall followers.
No, there is not a specific policy in place that covers this kind of situation but, practically, when Jim leaves The Times officially he will likely change his account name and bio, but the followers are his and will choose to continue to follow him (which I suspect), or not.
There are still two legal questions that must be dealt with when it comes to Twitter readers. In a case in Seattle, a web site sued a former journalist who acquired thousands of Twitter followers through his working there, claiming that each follower was worth $2.50 a month. However, that case settled last year without a final decision to set precedent on followers.
According to an expert internet law blog by Venkat Balasubramani, both sides would have to claim Roberts' New York Times handle in the dispute. Balasubramani stated that the situation does point toward a generally important factor of the issue in agreements when creating content online for writers.
Vrom Balasubramani: “The account does not fit into any of the established buckets of property. (It’s not totally a brand, it’s not purely content. It’s a mix of everything.) Often the account is a mix of personal and business. In this case the account handle incorporates the employer’s mark, so this is something the Times would point to in the event of a dispute. They would also argue that they helped promote the mark and thus should get the benefit of the following.”
He continued: On the other hand, the departing employees would argue that they really added value by the dint of their efforts and the branding in the account name is something that is easily changed (and one that departing employees would likely change). All of these highlight the benefit of spelling things out clearly in an agreement.
About The Fan Market
The Fan Market (http://www.thefanmarket.com/) provides businesses and individuals with the upper hand on gaining followers on social media sites like twitter. Learn how easy and affordable it is to gain access to immediate followers, how to get twitter followers and buy twitter followers.
Contact Us: 888-4-SBWIRE (US) - 920-321-1250 (International)