Tumblr hires a team of well-known journalists to cover…itself


Tumblr has hired a team of senior journalists to cover…well, Tumblr

The popular blogging platform has brought on the vice president at BlackBook Media Chris Mohney as the site's editor in chief. Jessica Bennett, a senior writer and editor at Newsweek and The Daily Beast, will be an executive editor and reporter, The New York Times reported.

“Basically, if Tumblr were a city of 42 million, I’m trying to figure out how we cover the ideas, themes and people who live in it,” Bennett told the Times, referring to the number of Tumblr blogs that exist. 

Mohney and Bennett will report on and market Tumblr, and their work will be posted on both the official Tumblr staff blog and a new Tumblr site that has yet to be created, a company spokesperson told Time Magazine.  

"Call it a snake eating its own tail or a smart take on objectively monitoring a particularly under-served area of the internet," wrote Time of Tumblr's decision. 

Andrew McLaughlin, a vice president at Tumblr, told the Times the company wanted Mohney and Bennett, the only two staff members so far, to “do real journalism and analysis, not PR fluff.”

“Of course, it’s obviously in our self-interest as a company to surface more compelling stories about creators on Tumblr," McLaughlin told the Times in an e-mail. "At the same time, though, we think Chris and Jessica will be able to do so in ways that embody professional rigor and first-rate writing." 

Tumblr is growing rapidly, the Nieman Lab reported, expanding by 250 million page views every week, according to founder and CEO David Karp. 

As Nieman Lab reporter Justin Ellis wrote of the blogging site: "It’s got more wiggle room than 140 characters, and it’s a network that’s defined less by personality and friendships and more by the value of shared information. It has the raw material, at any rate, to shape an alternate news feed." 

Facebook also recently hired a managing editor: Dan Fletcher, Bloomberg's former social media director, PC Magazine reported. A Facebook spokesperson told PCMag that Fletcher will be in charge of handling news that comes from Facebook, including corporate communications and company Pages and blogs. 

“Tumblr is basically hiring a staff to celebrate creativity and innovation," Bennett told the Times. "How many companies can say that?”

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What do you think of Tumblr's move into the world of journalism? Let us know in the comments. 

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