“What I actually do evolves as frequently as the news media and digital communities do; at all times, my job is to keep the two worlds connected,” Troy said.

“I’ve been in this job for three years. It came 11 years after I started my involvement in digital community moderation and management, and 15 years after I started dabbling in social media, which is more or less as old as the internet itself. It’s just that the emergence of neatly-packaged platforms like Facebook and Twitter have made online networking appear to be a newer concept than it actually is, and I think that’s reflected in the number of professional social media appointments and half-baked consultancies which have sprung up since about 2009.”

While he seems to have naturally fallen into his niche, it wasn’t always pre-destined. Troy said that when he left high school, he wanted to be a professional wrestler, a rock star, or a journalist.

“I ended up wrestling in 10 matches, drumming at exactly one gig, and last year, I earned a Canon Media Award for my work in mashing-up social media and news journalism in the interests of serving our community.”

Because social media is an emerging field, there are still a few kinks to work out, particularly when it comes to interacting with people.

“One thing to remember: you will become the funnel that all the trolling and nastiness goes through, all played out in the open. It can be incredibly disheartening, but that’s social media for you – not everyone who has something to say knows how to do so with courtesy. But you wear it because the good people out there make it worth it.”

His advice for would-be social media professionals is to have a working knowledge of the environment and the tools.

“While an education will give you your grounding, you have to bring along a lot of other strong intangibles like patience, compassion, and a lot of heart.”

Average pay

  • Editors low-circulation publications usually earn $30k–$80k per year
  • Editors of high-circulation or daily newspapers usually earn $80K–$200K per year.
  • As social media is a new field pay information is not yet available.

(Source: Careers New Zealand)

 

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