By David Klassen
Five journalists are putting social media to the test in an experiment to gather news by only using Facebook and Twitter.
Because news breaks online rather than in a traditional media environment, proponents of the experiment say it will show that the two websites can be used as valuable sources in crafting a story.
Reporters from Canadian, French, Belgian and Swiss radio stations will be placed in a farmhouse in France’s southern Perigord region. Their smart phones will be taken away, and no access to television, radio or newspapers will be given.
A restriction on web surfing will also be put into place — only Facebook and Twitter will be accessible on each computer given to reporters.
The goal of the whole thing is to show naysayers that social media can play a major role in the way news is gathered today.
Critics of the experiment say it will be a waste of time, as most information found via social media needs to be fact-checked against more traditional, reliable means, such as by with the parties involved in a story, by telephone, or with other reporters and sources.
— With files from AFP