Alfred Hermida was a little surprised to spot this last night: a Tweet from the head of the BBC newsroom, Peter Horrocks, to the director of global news, Richard Sambrook about some new appointments at the BBC.
“Perhaps it was intended to be a private, direct message”, Hermida pondered on his blog, Reportr.net.
Well, yes it was, Journalism.co.uk can now confirm after speaking to Peter Horrocks. “It’s a very embarrassing cock-up and everyone in the newsroom has been having a lot of fun at my expense,” Horrocks said.
“It’s had the perverse effect of making people who hadn’t worried about it [Twitter] think ‘oh god, if I’m going to get gossip from Peter then maybe it’s worth signing up,’ he said.
“Sambrook sent a message out late last night (…) I started it as a direct message exchange, and for some reason when I did a follow-up reply rather than go direct, it went as a public message,” Horrocks explained.
“It’s caused a bit of a flutter in the newsroom. I’m not going to use it for direct messages ever again now! I’m going to consider as a public medium in all circumstances!”
So, to clarify the situation, there are two new appointments, now officially announced (Horrocks told Malinarich and Roy this morning). In an (official) announcement Horrocks said:
“I’m pleased to tell you that Nathalie Malinarich is to be the executive editor of World Online and Andrew Roy the head of news for BBC World News. Nathalie has a strong record in World Service news and online, as Americas editor and front page editor. Andrew has widespread experience in newsgathering as former Bureau chief in DC and Brussels as well as his recent time at World News.
“Having two strong new editors will propel our global news for audiences on TV and and online forward. And, together with World Service News, we will see further evolution of the successful global hub operation under their leadership.”