a community manager should seem like a must-have position for a news organization. The comments, your Facebook page and your Twitter page are all public-facing, and they deal directly with your readers on a daily basis.
When developing a strategy for dealing with comments on your newspaper’s website, the conversation should happen with a community manager, because they are the people who will be implementing the new strategy. Additionally, they bring to the table an outlook and individual experiences that reporters and editors often do not have. Having a good community manager on staff becomes more valuable each day, because the news organization has someone “on the front lines”, so to speak.
The duties that a community manager would have, cannot and should not be delegated to others in the newsroom who otherwise lack the background and professional experience that a professional community manager would have. It’s very tempting, especially in the current economic climate. But doing so would ultimately do more harm than good.
If your newspaper or news organization hasn’t hired a community manager to develop and maintain your organization’s communities online, you should do sooner rather than later.