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Associated Press names Fergus Bell as first social media and UGC editor


By The Drum Team, Editorial

October 15, 2012 | 2 min read

The Associated Press (AP) has promoted Fergus Bell to the newly created position of social media and UGC editor.

In a memo circulated to staff today, AP deputy managing editor and head of the news agency’s Nerve Centre, Tamer Fakahany, wrote: “Fergus Bell has put the AP front and centre in our efforts to secure the copyright and forensically verify user-generated content (UGC), which has become a focal newsgathering resource for the AP.

“Fergus has spearheaded notable newsgathering victories which have paid huge dividends for our entire news report, our subscribers/clients, and made our competitors and the online community stand up and take notice.”

Bell will remain based in London and report to Fakahany and AP Television head of output, Beth Colson while also working closely with overall social media editor, Eric Carvin in New York.

Speaking of his appointment, Bell commented: “I’m really excited to take on this new role and continue working to find new ways of telling stories through user-generated content, whether it be from difficult places we can’t get to or allowing us to always find that one person who was in the right place at just the right time.

“I am excited to continue extending that reach internationally through social media and forming relationships with those who hold the keys to new technologies. I’m looking forward to working with AP’s international staff across all our formats so that we can continue to access UGC quickly and fairly from contributors around the world and interpret social media during breaking news accurately for our global report.”

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