The Associated Press has promoted Fergus Bell to the newly-created position of social media and user-generated content editor— international, an acknowledgement of these global newsgathering resources, which the AP has employed since 2009’s protests in Iran.
“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,” said Tamer Fakahany, AP deputy managing editor and head of the news agency’s Nerve Center, in a memo to staff.
Tarner noted that Bell had ��established a network of sources in Syria we could depend on for material and helped set in place a multilayered verification process” for various AP entities.
Bell will continue to be based in London but report to Fakahany and AP Television Head of Output Beth Colson while also working with overall Social Media Editor Eric Carvin.
“The AP is in a perfect position to really be able to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to user-generated content. I am excited to continue extending that reach internationally through social media and forming relationships with those who hold the keys to new technologies,” Bell said.
Bell joined AP in 2006 as a news assistant on the television news desk in London, eventually becoming senior producer. Since April 2011 he has focused on social media newsgathering, big set events, training and strategy.
He was also recently named a winner of the AP’s $10,000 Oliver S. Gramling Achievement Award.