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News Experiment To Rely Only On Facebook, Twitter

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 4 years ago | from the cruel-and-unusual dept.

The Internet 70

snydeq writes "With a setup ripped right out of a reality show — or, perhaps more fittingly, The Shining — a French-language public broadcasters association will put five journalists in a French farmhouse for five days, giving them no access to newspapers, television, radio, or the Internet, save Facebook and Twitter, to see how much world news they can report. The reporters will report this news on a communal blog. 'Our aim is to show that there are different sources of information and to look at the legitimacy of each of these sources,' said France Inter editor Helene Jouan. 'This experiment will enable us to take a hard look at all the myths that exist about Facebook and Twitter.'"

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Not much of a study. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30864746)

By following all the major news Twitter's, they will get a stream of information on what's happening, and then they can post the snippets of what they know on Facebook. Their friends on the outside can send them the full stories though Facebook's message system. Nothing of interest here, move along.

Re:Not much of a study. (2, Funny)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#30865346)

Plus, if America's number one cable news source is any indication, neither journalists nor the viewers are's really concerned with external "sources" or "facts."

Saddam was the brains behind 9/11, he had loads of weapons of mass destruction in 2003 that we recovered, and everyone in the world besides Saddam was cheering us on as we invaded Iraq. Anyone who says otherwise is just plain biased.

Re:Not much of a study. (4, Informative)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#30865374)

Oops, forgot the citation [worldpublicopinion.org] for that. 80% of fox news viewers in 2003 thought one or more of those 3 lies were true, and 45% [alternet.org] believed all three.

Re:Not much of a study. (1, Interesting)

tomhath (637240) | more than 4 years ago | (#30866200)

Aside from you grossly misstating what the article actually says, the citation you provide makes it clear why Fox viewers are "wrong". Essentially the authors state what (in their opinion) is the correct answer and if you don't agree with their very left wing view of the world then you are wrong.

An in-depth analysis of a series of polls conducted June through September found 48% incorrectly believed that evidence of links between Iraq and al Qaeda have been found, 22% that weapons of mass destruction have been found in Iraq, and 25% that world public opinion favored the US going to war with Iraq. Overall 60% had at least one of these three misperceptions.

There have been plenty of reports that Saddam and Bin Laden had been in contact [guardian.co.uk] . Although the contact is now assumed to be minimal, it's a far cry from "Saddam was the brains behind 9/11". And I question whether someone who believes there was no contact is "right".

Saddam did have weapons of mass destruction. He used them to kill thousands of people. None were found after the invasion, but whether a response is right or wrong depends a lot on how the question was phrased. Believing "weapons of mass destruction have been found in Iraq" is different than Saddam "had loads of weapons of mass destruction in 2003 that we recovered"

Finally, world opinion was mixed to the invasion. Thirty six countries were involved in the invasion so it's hard to claim that "world public opinion favored the US going to war with Iraq" is completely wrong. More countries opposed the invasion that supported it, but opinion was at least mixed. Unless of course you get your news from NPR.

Re:Not much of a study. (3, Insightful)

TeXMaster (593524) | more than 4 years ago | (#30866328)

Finally, world opinion was mixed to the invasion. Thirty six countries were involved in the invasion so it's hard to claim that "world public opinion favored the US going to war with Iraq" is completely wrong. More countries opposed the invasion that supported it, but opinion was at least mixed. Unless of course you get your news from NPR.

Not only more countries opposed the invasion than supported it, of those that supported it you had very strong opposition to it within the populace, even though the governors jumped on the Iraq invasion bandwagon hoping to gather some crumbs for the Iraq reconstructio and oil extraction contracts

Re:Not much of a study. (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#30867272)

BS, there were no links (meaning mutual support, in cahoots or w/e you want to call it) between Saddam and Bin Laden. Just cause they were aware of each others existence doesn't mean anything. I could probably look up kim jong ils number but it doesn't mean i have links to the guy in the sense meant.

BS again, you said yourself none were found. 22% of people said they were, they were wrong, we agree. Then you apologize for them on something separate.

Yeah like Iceland who deployed 2 troops... I'm not so sure how much that was support as it was acceptance.

Similarly:
Norway - 150
Portugal - 128
New Zealand - 61
Denmark - 540
Japan - 600

And so on.... Lots of countries accepted the war. But very few supported it. Oh and the US bribed many countries to lend support. Giving Turkey 8.5BN$ for example... And again you are apologizing for something different. Its a yes no question. And the support was pretty lame. If you took it to a planetary referendum the percentages would have been pretty horrific. Maybe in the 20:80 range.

Re:Not much of a study. (1)

HomelessInLaJolla (1026842) | more than 4 years ago | (#30871022)

Saddam did have weapons of mass destruction.

We know this because the US federal government held the sales receipt for them. Several thousand containers of HD (mustard gas). That is what the hubbub was hinged on.

He used them to kill thousands of people.

We were using Saddam as a repository--like a hazardous waste TSTD facility--so that those containers were not on our records. When he asked WTF he was supposed to do with several thousand containers of mustard gas (he didn't really want them but we promised lots of under the table compensation) the off-the-cuff suggestion was,"Use them on some pigs." Consider how the translation went.

None were found after the invasion

Had they actually been found after the invasion then the embarrassing question of,"Where did these come from?" might have found its way to the headlines.

Actually, it did. Towards the end of the whole invasion, when they were wrapping everything up, the news reported that they had found several barrels of what they identified as pesticide or herbicide chemical waste. That was the token nod to what the whole sh*t was about.

So... in the end... how much are those several thousand barrels of HD actually costing the US taxpayers?

Re:Not much of a study. (2, Insightful)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 4 years ago | (#30866490)

You went from funny to depressing as soon as you brought the facts in. :(

Re:Not much of a study. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#30866778)

Your citation is flawed, in that it refers to Fox as "the news" when it is clearly a pile of bullshit. Other than that, very interesting.

My Predictions (3, Funny)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30864752)

They get up to the second updates on the world of Pop Entertainment via Twitter

They get a confusingly clouded understanding of what happens in the worlds of politics via everyones facebook rantings.

Re:My Predictions (1)

Sparx139 (1460489) | more than 4 years ago | (#30864816)

You forgot that one of them goes crazy and tries to murder the others.

Re:My Predictions (3, Insightful)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 4 years ago | (#30865240)

My prediction is that a bunch of people who know each other offline get together and pull a prank that ends up getting published as news. I'm seeing a sex scandal involving the President, the Pope, three aliens, a dead hooker, and the ghost of Elvis.

Re:My Predictions (1, Flamebait)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 4 years ago | (#30865562)

Their conclusion:

The internet is made of cats.

Well, they will get the NEWS, but not the news. (2, Informative)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 4 years ago | (#30869016)

There are two sorts of news. One is the stuff you find in cheapo rags like "Metro" and the other free newspapers. Also when you read news.google.com, the reuters and associated press feeds.

This is the news of what people want you to hear. Press statements as it were.

But the second meaning of news, as in information, reporting, investigation, that you won't get. That is the author of an article using his/her experience and wisdom to question the information that was fed to him and dig deeper.

NEWS: RIAA claims piracy costs 1 gazillion dollars.

news: RIAA claims piracy costs more money then exists in the world and they do this while their members reported record profits just last week, how come?

The first is easy, there is always someone somewhere willing to put out a press release, the second is incredibly hard and expensive and has a limited market because it needs an audience that wants to think.

A good example of this was in "Spits" a dutch free rag. X percentage of young people feel that Wilders (a controversial right-wing politician on a crusade against Islam) should be prosecuted. Small detail, the poll was run by FunX (a so-called multi-cultural station that does NOT broadcast Chinese, Jewish, Indian, Japanese, Korean, African music) and Maroc.nl (a site aimed at marrocan immigrants). Gosh, what an unbiased source... but the reprinted press-release did NOT mention the specific background of those who were polled making it instead appear that it was a an average sample.

Now a GOOD reporter would have asked about this because he WOULD have remembered other polls such as one reporting that Wilders has a lot of support among young people, especially of course white... So what is the truth? I don't know and the news ain't telling me.

It would be like polling americans opinion about Obama, by asking Fox viewers... lots of news but truth?

Good reporting is essential, because PR managers have become very skilled at twisting their press-releases to say what they want to say, even if the facts are completely different.

Such as the harm piracy does to media companies that just happen to increase their profits each year.

If you were to use Twitter, you would get the same quality information feed as a press-release (none) AND loose the ability to verify on top of that. How do you KNOW the person claiming X is actually the person he claims to be? Do you only accept a fact if a LOT of people repeat it? Oh goodie, then it is now a fact that you can't get pregnant if you were a virgin...

This experiment is to real news-gathering what the earlier article about that guy in his shed was to real astronomy. Sorry, those pictures might look pretty, but they are NOT scientifically useful anymore. And the news you get from Twitter might very fast and numerous, but it doesn't have the ability to dig deeper, to examine, to question, to investigate.

The odd thing is that a lot of people in Holland now can and do easily read THREE newspapers, (Spits, Metro, De Pers) but end up knowing less then if they read the rag "Telegraaf" (think Fox-news without the integrity) because even if it was shallow and biased, it at least sometimes digged down (to be fair, "De Pers" does try but still fails to ask the "killer question" that can so easily rip apart most press-releases).

I remember an old TV-journalist, (for the dutch, the bald guy who did the news magazine for Veronica) who could really tear apart the person he was questioning, taking what they said and ripping it to shreds to expose their lies and true motives... Jerremy Paxman used to be like this for the brits. Nowadays it news interviews seem close to talk shows on late-night. All about making the guest look good and carefully not touch on anything that might expose them.

To bad, the world needs good reporting. Less news, more digging.

no access to sources or events? (4, Funny)

swschrad (312009) | more than 4 years ago | (#30864754)

dreaming up "news" on their own? somebody get a Predator warmed up, we got a target... .

Re:no access to sources or events? (2, Informative)

Stook (1270928) | more than 4 years ago | (#30865022)

dreaming up "news" on their own? somebody get a Predator warmed up, we got a target...

Fox News?

Re:no access to sources or events? (1)

psithurism (1642461) | more than 4 years ago | (#30865070)

Actually stealing news dreamed up by others via twitter and facebook.

The idea being to show whether those dreams are reliable.

No problem! (1)

dkf (304284) | more than 4 years ago | (#30864770)

Apparently, they can get plenty of news (or at least stuff that matters) just by following slashdot's twitter feed. They should be just fine!

Re:No problem! (1)

watergeus (877271) | more than 4 years ago | (#30866140)

How can you find it if you don't have google-access?

Astroturfing (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30864772)

Stop this shit, companies like the one doing that experiment only want to cash in on the publicity that comes from mentioning facebook and twitter, these days anything that mentions facebook and twitter more than once gets lots of publicity.

If you don't believe me watch this post go from +5, Funny to +5 Insightful, +5 Informative.

Re:Astroturfing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30864810)

I bet you won't be expecting -1: Troll.

I suppose I expect it for this post though...

Myths...? (1)

PSandusky (740962) | more than 4 years ago | (#30864774)

See, when I think about myths regarding various things, I think of drugs, history, Greek heroes, and fisherman-eating orcas. Regarding Facebook and Twitter, however, I couldn't give a rat's patoot. Those who use the technologies have an understanding of how they work, and those who don't... don't. Those who don't may well make up a spiel to sound as though they know, much as applies to a lot of cases in life... including l'intarweb, mes amis. Mix a publicity scheme with an attempt to get the journalists to go online, shake in a little bit of fake discernment, and voila! A news experiment!

And in today's top stories... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30864778)

...John took a shit at 3:30pm today. Meanwhile, his girlfriend Janie thinks that Tammie is a whore. In entertainment news, rapper Eminem has died for the 13th time this year, and Paris Hilton is a whore. Moving on to sports, NFL team the Jets are reportedly 'teh suxxors', and Tom Brady is a whore. Stay tuned for all that, plus Mickey Rooney, after these messages.

Insightful response to their thoughtful experiment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30864792)

"This experiment will enable us to take a hard look at all the myths that exist about Facebook and Twitter."

OMFG! LOL!

Space Station (2, Funny)

rockNme2349 (1414329) | more than 4 years ago | (#30864806)

This just in, the International Space Station was recently equipped with full internet access.

Refresh for more details at 11.

in soviet russia (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 4 years ago | (#30864854)

competition to experiment with drugs on facebook and twitter mines you!

well (1)

omar.sahal (687649) | more than 4 years ago | (#30864910)

'This experiment will enable us to take a hard look at all the myths that exist about Facebook and Twitter.'"

Now why would they want do this!!!

What do they start with? (2, Insightful)

Snarkalicious (1589343) | more than 4 years ago | (#30864922)

As a news junky, I associate with other news junkies of various stripes. My Facebook Feed reads like an amalgamation of Fox News, CNN, BBC, Slashdot and The National Enquirer. Put me in there with my friends list intact, and I'd probably be able to replace HLN. I assume it's a similar deal with these journalists. Try it with a random sample of people and get back to me.

Re:What do they start with? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30864944)

Sounds like my IRC.

Re:What do they start with? (1)

swanzilla (1458281) | more than 4 years ago | (#30865032)

Try it with a random sample of people and get back to me.

O Snaps! in a house wit some dudes...jus F-Book and Tweets 4 5 days! some experiment...

science FTW!

Re:What do they start with? (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 4 years ago | (#30869222)

As a news junky, I associate with other news junkies of various stripes. My Facebook Feed reads like an amalgamation of Fox News, CNN, BBC, Slashdot and The National Enquirer. Put me in there with my friends list intact, and I'd probably be able to replace HLN. I assume it's a similar deal with these journalists. Try it with a random sample of people and get back to me.

From the comments so far, you seem to be one of the few people who 'gets' the point of this exercise. Hell, they've already acknowledged that the reporters will have a general idea of what's happening in the world. The experiment is to see how accurate that information really is.

To use one example that many here are familiar with -- suppose you had Slashdot summaries show up on your Facebook page (not sure if /. has a FB fan page or not, and I don't really care to find out). Now, people who actually care about what's happening in the tech world realize that an embarrassingly huge amount of the time, those /. summaries contain major omissions of fact, or are just plain wrong. If you read the linked articles or the comments, you learn what these errors are and what the real facts are. However, if all you ever go by is the headline/summary, your view of reality will be horribly distorted (unfortunately, many here do exactly this). That's what these reporters are measuring here -- just how correct/incorrect the distilled information really is (albeit they're doing it in a highly unscientific manner).

Oblig. Shining reference... (1)

Radical Moderate (563286) | more than 4 years ago | (#30864938)

All social networking and no news makes Jacques a dull boy.
All social networking and no news makes Jacques a dull boy.
All social networking and no news makes Jacques a dull boy.
All social networking and no news makes Jacques a dull boy.
All social networking and no news makes Jacques a dull boy.
b

Can they click links? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30864940)

Unless they're allowed access to the stories that are commonly linked with Twitter and Facebook activity feeds, this is a pretty poorly-controlled study. If they're trying to mimic the behavior of a typical Twitter or Facebook user, that is. If they're just trying to do a cute PR ploy, they're fine.

Re:Can they click links? (1)

rantingkitten (938138) | more than 4 years ago | (#30865232)

Isn't that kind of the point?

Whenever someone tries to defend twitter as a legitimate "news source", it's trivial to actually go to, say, the Irianian or Mumbai pages -- which at the moment seem to be the two big prizes -- and show that really, nothing of any consequence was "tweeted" at all. The feeds themselves are devoid of context, and usually second- or third-hand reports of what some guy who wasn't even there thinks is going on based on -- you guessed it -- actual news sources, but without any of the context or detail of the actual news sources. They rarely amount to anything more than "Situation bad, everyone is fighting."

In an experiment like this, if they're not allowed to click links, it really takes the wind out of the sails of twitter defenders who like to pretend there's any meaningful information on twitter.

Of course, it's at this point where the twitter defender will furiously backpedal, explaining that while twitter might not be news as such, it's useful like RSS, to get a stream of links about where to find news.

At this point, though, the battle is over, as far as I'm concerned, since the question then becomes: Why do I need a bunch of anonoymous nobodies spamming random hearsay about where to find news? I can turn on the TV / radio / check various news websites just as easily as they can, thanks. And I can do it without having to guess at what asinine garbage this or that "bit.ly" or other cutesy 2.0 linkrotter is going to end up.

Re:Can they click links? (1)

dzfoo (772245) | more than 4 years ago | (#30868820)

Mod parent up:

+1 Abso-fucking-lutely right on the money.

    -dZ.

Re:Can they click links? (1)

damburger (981828) | more than 4 years ago | (#30867824)

They are sending in *journalists* which makes its a pretty-poorly controlled study. They are using a group of people whose profession is threatened by these online services. Its like asking Encyclopedia Britannica employees to evaluate Wikipedia.

I see no difference to normal newspapers (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#30864942)

Barely researched information and lots and lots of opinion.

Come On (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30864948)

Facebook and Twitter are NOT news sources. Like most other sites on the internet they just regurgitate news reported elsewhere. And like the old game of telephone, each time the story is told, it is diluted and transmogrified.

My assertion could be proven by such an experiment but, 5 days won't be enough to show the trend.

Re:Come On (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#30868788)

They should be right at home then - that sounds just like the traditional media.

Most stories are actually propagated from news reported elsewhere - obviously someone must write them originally, but a significant amount of "news" is just as you describe. And it has the same capability for the story getting diluted and transmogrified. At least bloggers, facebook users etc have the decency to either link to their source, or rewrite it in their own words. In the media, stories are just plagiarised, often with trivial word rearrangements in a petty attempt to make it look like their own words. And occasionally news stories are reported originally on the likes of blogs, Facebook etc.

Their jobs... (1)

RJFerret (1279530) | more than 4 years ago | (#30864952)

Wait, so they'll be reporting straight from the sources, without the bias of others' reportings?

Isn't this just doing their jobs!?

Re:Their jobs... (1)

IAmGarethAdams (990037) | more than 4 years ago | (#30869408)

No, they'll be reporting straight from Facebook and Twitter, the two biggest sources of recycled links to opinion blog posts. Their main source of information will *be* the bias of other peoples' reporting. There may well be primary sources on Twitter but with 140 characters you don't get much more than a headline at a time.

Remember the aim of the exercise is to see how much accuracy these reporters can get just from these social media sites.

Special Report (3, Funny)

amaupin (721551) | more than 4 years ago | (#30865004)

Jacques could really use some help fertilizing their crops in FarmVille!
Renee just found some Treasured Golden Mystery Eggs and wants to say thank you!

Re:Special Report (1)

TheSync (5291) | more than 4 years ago | (#30865390)

Jacques could really use some help fertilizing their crops in FarmVille!

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! I hate that!

Re:Special Report (1)

chickenarise (1597941) | more than 4 years ago | (#30865700)

Lol, then block the app dude.

Re:Special Report (1)

StuartHankins (1020819) | more than 4 years ago | (#30866920)

Egads! Has my filter stopped working? I'm quite sure I turned those bits off.

<shaking fist> Aaaarrrgghhhh!

Their first story... (1, Funny)

davidbrit2 (775091) | more than 4 years ago | (#30865026)

Their first story will probably be that they've killed themselves.

That would probably be my reaction, anyway.

Headlines and Short Summaries (1)

DavidD_CA (750156) | more than 4 years ago | (#30865038)

While I do get a lot of news from Facebook, it's almost always just in the form of a headline, short summary, and a link to the article.

Most of the friends I have rarely make more than a short comment about whatever they're posting on... just a "passing this on" kind of note.

So, I fail to see how this is going to produce anything other than "We know this happened, but we're awfully short on details."

But I look forward to being wrong.

I can see it now (5, Funny)

Mistakill (965922) | more than 4 years ago | (#30865052)

So well see news like this?:

In breaking news, Rob admitted he cheated on Katie, but Katie has dumped Rob, changed her status to single, and Mike is hitting on Katie on her wall hoping for a rebound hookup... Michelle is also flirting with Katie, and Katies friends are calling Rob a pig. Rob has threatened Katie with 'those pics'. We'll keep you updated as news comes to hand

Re:I can see it now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30865264)

Your ideas are intriguing to me, and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

That sounds great! (1)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 4 years ago | (#30869622)

I'm intrigued by your ideas and would like to subscribe to your Tuesday evening reality TV show!

What's it called again? Oh wait, I could never tell them apart in the first place </snark>

Why? (1)

sjs132 (631745) | more than 4 years ago | (#30865086)

Why would someone rely on FB or Twits for news? Really, there is a place for everything, and these ain't for collecting news.

That's what slashdot is for... :p

Re:Why? (1)

rjejr (921275) | more than 4 years ago | (#30865258)

Digg > FB.

It is fine for the NEWS, just not for facts (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 4 years ago | (#30869094)

Lets use slashdot, the EMP gun article.

News facts according to slashdot:

  • EMP gun fries everything in a 100m radius.
  • Cops taser people at the drop of a head, this will be same.
  • Drunk/High people will make just make sure that their car is 20 years old.
  • The EMP gun will fry everything in car and the stopped criminal can now sue (based on the logic that you can also sue for your tires being punctured by a nail-mat)
  • The EMP gun will be useless because the car is a faraday cage (based on the logic that faraday cages are metal and so any metal cage no matter the size of the holes, it being connected to the things inside the cage or not being grounded)
  • Carjackers will use this because a car that won't run is exactly what they want (the reason car jackers exist is because modern cars are to hard to steal)
  • Rapists will target female drivers because it is so easy to do (people really need to stop watching crime shows)
  • Criminals will suddenly use this for whatever reason because these devices could not be produced by anyone for a long time with complete howto's on the web.
  • ...

I would go on, but you can read the comments yourself and feel your brain start to rot.

Twitter is a news source for the people who think an SMS message service can predict the gender of your baby.

Twitter is the proof democracy is a bad thing. Every man a voice and this is what you get.

Sounds familiar (0, Troll)

1729 (581437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30865140)

no access to newspapers, television, radio, or the Internet, save Facebook and Twitter, to see how much world news they can report.

So it'll be just like CNN, then.

This is dumb. (4, Insightful)

hellop2 (1271166) | more than 4 years ago | (#30865144)

FTA, "to see whether they can effectively report on the news by using Twitter and Facebook, and nothing else."

Does this mean that they can't click links to other websites? If so, that's stupid.

What good is news if it can't cite any sources? Is your bibliography filled with 1000 entries pointing to Twitter?

But if they could access other websites, then they would pretty much have access to the whole Internet. So, I doubt that's what they are doing. Nope, they are doing it the stupid way.

FTA, "Our aim is to show that there are different sources of information and to look at the legitimacy of each of these sources,"

So, they are trying to determine the validity of Facebook and Twitter as news sources while removing one of the things that makes them great news sources. That is, their ability to link to actual news sites.

Ok then, maybe they are trying to figure out if Facebook and Twitter (with its 140 character limit) are legitimate new sources. Well, whether or not they are capable of reporting the news, they are not a "great news source". You could cut n' paste anything into Twitter. So this whole thing is mute. Twitter could report the news just fine. But so could email, or SMS messaging, or packet radio. But these are not "great news sources". They are just another way to get data.

But social networking websites have value not only because of the large userbase, but also because of their ability to link to the Internet. Therefore, by cutting out "The Internet" from this experiment, they will not be able to answer the question, "Are Facebook and Twitter useful news sources?" They are part of the Internet. You can't separate them from it.

Re:This is dumb. (1)

hellop2 (1271166) | more than 4 years ago | (#30865640)

%s/mute/moot/g

Re:This is dumb. (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 4 years ago | (#30865710)

The wording of "the myths that exist" sounds suspiciously biased towards Facebook and Twitter. If your aim in an experiment is to prove or disprove something, then you've already biased the experiment.

My guess is that someone claimed Facebook/Twitter were fluff sites unsuited to solid journalism, and someone who really loves Facebook/Twitter got upset at this and set out to disprove it (perhaps petulantly). In reality good journalism will require multiple sources of information not just one tiny faucet of information. It seems extremely unlikely that journalism based solely on Facebook/Twitter will be as good as journalism based on Facebook/Twitter plus information from other websites, contacts, phone calls, emails, news feeds, archives, and good old fashioned legwork.

Only 5 days (2, Interesting)

Mr. Freeman (933986) | more than 4 years ago | (#30865262)

5 days hardly seems long enough to conduct a serious study. You have to take into account the fact that these journalists are going to be working in an environment completely different from what they're used to. It's going to take them a while to adapt to being cut off from their regular tools before they can report anything properly, assuming that it's possible at all.

Sounds like a vacation (1)

Sir Holo (531007) | more than 4 years ago | (#30865416)

. . . in a French farmhouse for five days, giving them no access to newspapers, television, radio, or the Internet. . .

Sounds like the perfect vacation, but a little short.

I would expect to see... (1)

PGGreens (1699764) | more than 4 years ago | (#30866212)

All play and no work makes Jacques a dull reporter.
All play and no work makes Jacques a dull reporter.
All play and no work makes Jacques a dull reporter.
All play and no work makes Jacques a dull reporter.

mo,d 3own (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30866306)

Their hand...she like I 7should be

Thank God it's only for five days. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30866564)

This is how libertarians happen.

If you really want to keep them in the dark... (0, Redundant)

maadmole (698240) | more than 4 years ago | (#30866644)

...only let them read the San Francisco Chronicle

Regurgitation is not reporting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30866748)

I think the idea of seeing how much news you can gather from Twitter and Facebook is interesting. Not mind-blowing, but hey, have fun with it and I'll read the conclusions.

Let's be clear, though, that regurgitation is not reporting. Duplicate content, whether republished wholesale or slightly re-written, is a major weakspot in online news. I'm tired of checking Google News and having to wade through 50 stories from the Podunk Telegraph and the Cityville Gazette that are just re-written versions of the same wire story.

We can argue about what the optimum online news situation is, paywalls vs. registration vs. open access etc, but I think we can all agree that wasting consumers' time with duplicate content does not belong.

Huh? (1)

Nethead (1563) | more than 4 years ago | (#30867238)

Isn't this called the E! network?

Reporting (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#30867300)

This won't tell us anything about twitter or facebook. We are aware these aren't valid news sources.

What it does highlight is if the stuff they come up with is the same as regular journalism... then regular journalism has been proven to be completely worthless.

PS: I don't know why people read anything who's citation is anything other than scholarly papers, news wires...... that's it. And they should all link to their source... in case I want to read the paper or listen to recordings taken by AP/Reuters. If you are citing a newspaper in your blog or another blog you are playing a horrible game of information telephone. And your product is shit.

Too Easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30872022)

Just add NPRs facebook feed to your FB acct. and You'll get most major news. I'm sure other news sources have blog posts on FB as well.
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