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Twitter Hires Its First Data Editor

Simon Rogers, editor of British newspaper The Guardian‘s Datablog, is relocating to San Francisco to join Twitter as the micro-blogging social network’s first data editor.

Rogers, who has been an employee at The Guardian for 15 years, setting up the Datablog back in 2009, winning a number of awards for his data journalism, will be working at Twitter in a newly-created position. Rogers has been writing about his expectations for the move – and his experiences at The Guardian - on his blog.

All news organisations are struggling with challenges to what they thought they were. The newspaper’s traditional one-way relationship with readers has been replaced by a new equality where stories are broken by anyone with a mobile device. It’s a process that we’ve seen in Boston this week.

The Guardian has embraced this new open journalism with enthusiasm. Editor Alan Rusbridger encouraged my setting up the Datablog in 2009 and has championed our work in data journalism. It must have seemed a little odd to want to create a site which would allow users to download and analyse datasets such as public spending figures for themselves. Traditionally that was the reporter’s job – why would we share it? The point was to democratise that data; it belongs to everyone, after all.

“Twitter has become such an important element in the way we work as journalists,” added Rogers. “It’s impossible to ignore, and increasingly at the heart of every major event, from politics to sport and entertainment. As data editor, I’ll be helping to explain how this phenomenon works. And I can’t imagine a better job than getting to tell stories based on some of the most amazing data around.”

The Guardian‘s James Ball will assume Rogers’ post as editor of Datablog.

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