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Reporters Forced to Only Use Facebook & Twitter

January 23, 2010 7:33 AM | News

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