LA Times Hires Reporter to Monitor Black Twitter

Dexter Thomas photo permission granted to Jessica on 7/8/15 by Dexter Thomas <>. (Photos from left: Twitter, Courtesy of Dexter Thomas)

LA Times Hires Reporter to Monitor Black Twitter

The national news organization seeks to diversify coverage.

Published July 7, 2015

Let’s face it.

There is a clear difference between “Black Twitter" and "everybody else" Twitter.

The LA Times is taking notice.

According to Poynter, the newspaper has decided to take a proactive approach to covering trends and socially engaging news about people of color by hiring a reporter solely responsible for monitoring the activities of Black Twitter.

Managing editor S. Mitra Kalita says new hire Dexter Thomas will “work closely with the newsroom and #EmergingUS to find communities online (Black Medium to Latino Tumblr to Line in Japan) and both create stories with and pull stories from those worlds.” 

However, she also notes that his job will span more than just Black Twitter as the culture is “so much more complicated than that.” As any given member of Black Twitter already knows, topics range from profound intellectual sparrings to hilarious memes created from the social network's quick-witted users. Recently, users on the social network have helped to garner support for movements such as #blacklivesmatter, #bringbackourgirls. The movements have gone from "just tweets" to headlines.

Cultural expert Stereo Williams described Black Twitter as an “online culture of Black intellectuals, trendsetters and talking heads giving voice to many of the issues that 20 years ago would’ve remained far away from the mainstream media.”

Pew Research finds that “40 percent of Black 18- to 29-year-olds are active on Twitter, compared to just 28 percent of white Twitter users in the same age bracket.”

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(Photos from left: Twitter, Courtesy of Dexter Thomas)

Written by George Chapman Jr.


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