'The only constant is change' – Q&A with Twitter's Mark Little
People's ability to succeed in journalism depends on how comfortable they are with fast change, says Mark Little, Twitter's vice president for media in Europe and Africa
Our guest this week is Mark Little, vice president for media in Europe and Africa at Twitter. He tells us what the industry has taught him so far and explains why leadership is an important skill in his job.
What is your job title and what does that mean?
I am Twitter's vice president for media in Europe and Africa. My job is to make sure Twitter helps top creators and influencers in areas such as news, sports, TV, music, politics and movies, engage the widest audience possible with the best possible content.
How did you get started in the industry?
I wanted to be a war correspondent or a professional footballer at the age of six.
At 10, I realised I had no talent, so a career as centre-forward for Liverpool was out. At 13, one of my teachers accused me of being 'prematurely cynical'. That's when I knew I would be a journalist.
What do you most look forward to at the start of your day?
Twitter. Coffee. Music. Sunshine (I live in Ireland so that last one is aspirational)
What does a normal day look like for you? In emoji.
What three tools or apps do you use most for work and why?
Tweetdeck (discovery) Nuzzel (curation) Headspace (mindfulness -– yes, it's a work thing)
What would you focus on if you were training as a journalist now and why?
Writing. Ethics. Writing. Headline-writing. Writing. Scepticism. Writing. Curiosity. Writing. Engagement.
Journalism is journalism.
What skills do you think are important to your role and why?
Leadership: create a culture of innovation which is biased toward execution, controlled risk-taking and personal responsibility.
What has your current job taught you about the industry?
Nobody knows where we will be in 10 years. The only constant is change.
Your ability to thrive depends on your comfort with these twin concepts.
What would you say to someone applying to work at your organisation?
Use Twitter. Love Twitter.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
Have the courage to listen.
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