Dean Baquet, the top editorial guy at the NYT has a Twitter account, but hasn't used it much. What got me to look at his account was a puzzling statement he made about Twitter creating a priesthood, like the editorial priesthood that already exists at the NYT.
People with millions of followers on Twitter do define a new kind of elite. But they're mostly celebrities, people who are famous for singing or because they're beautiful or great actors. They may be a priesthood, but one that a person such as Baquet could probably ignore. Except for a few NBA players (I'm a big fan) I do.
Not using Twitter puts him and his organization at a disadvantage.
Today it's a basic way for reporters to get information from sources. Imagine a reporter in the 1970s who refused use a telephone. To get a quote they'd have to meet at a bar, or in an underground garage. It's hard to imagine.
I'm assuming that the executive editor at the NYT does at least some reporting himself. It's possible it's a completely administrative position, then maybe he doesn't need to use it. But he's a leader, an example-setter. If the reporters at the Times are expected to compete in the news environment of 2014, it seems their leader must show them the way, not stand in the way.
A person who never leaves the office, or never uses a telephone, or never asks a question on Twitter is not reporting. You can only get so much news from your own mind. If you're doing that, you're a source, not a reporter. And probably not a very good source at that. To be informed, you have to go where the people are speaking. And these days, like it or not, the sources are on Twitter.
PS: I own no Twitter stock. I'm not happy that news is centered on Twitter. I think trusting such a vital function to a single for-profit company is a bad thing.