Longtime TV news reporter Campbell Brown announced on her Facebook page that she will lead the social network’s News Partnerships team. Per her post, she explained that she “will be tapping my newsroom experience to help news organizations and journalists work more closely and more effectively with Facebook.” In addition, she says that she will help Facebook’s partners “to help them understand how Facebook can expand the reach of their journalism, and contribute value to their businesses.”
The original job description for the role clearly shows that Facebook was looking for someone camera-ready who has strong diplomatic chops. Among Campbell’s responsibilities is to be a “public-facing voice of Facebook and its role in the news ecosystem.” The job also called for “public speaking, communication, and presentation skills.”
It’s no secret that Facebook’s relationship with the news media is both symbiotic and strained. The social network needs news organizations for content, and organizations, in turn, need Facebook for distribution. At the same time, the digital advertising dollars that news outlets depend on are increasingly going to Facebook (along with Google). This is a relationship fraught with challenges to say the least. We wish Campbell luck.