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News Experiment To Rely Only On Facebook, Twitter 70

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the cruel-and-unusual dept.
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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News Experiment To Rely Only On Facebook, Twitter

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 22, 2010 @06:54PM (#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: (Score:3, Funny)

      by interkin3tic (1469267)

      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.

      • by interkin3tic (1469267) on Friday January 22, 2010 @08:09PM (#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: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by tomhath (637240)

          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 so

          • by TeXMaster (593524) on Friday January 22, 2010 @10:26PM (#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

          • 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 sur
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Ihmhi (1206036)

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

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          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.

  • by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Friday January 22, 2010 @06:55PM (#30864752) Journal

    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.

    • by Sparx139 (1460489)
      You forgot that one of them goes crazy and tries to murder the others.
    • Re:My Predictions (Score:4, Insightful)

      by dgatwood (11270) on Friday January 22, 2010 @07:55PM (#30865240) Journal

      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: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by ShakaUVM (157947)

      Their conclusion:

      The internet is made of cats.

    • 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 cl

  • by swschrad (312009) on Friday January 22, 2010 @06:55PM (#30864754) Homepage Journal

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

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Stook (1270928)

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

      Fox News?

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

      The idea being to show whether those dreams are reliable.

  • 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!

  • 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

  • by rockNme2349 (1414329) on Friday January 22, 2010 @07:01PM (#30864806)

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

    Refresh for more details at 11.

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

  • 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.
    • 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!

    • 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
  • 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
  • Barely researched information and lots and lots of opinion.

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

    Isn't this just doing their jobs!?

    • 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.

  • by amaupin (721551) on Friday January 22, 2010 @07:29PM (#30865004) Homepage
    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!
  • Their first story will probably be that they've killed themselves.

    That would probably be my reaction, anyway.

  • 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.

  • by Mistakill (965922) on Friday January 22, 2010 @07:35PM (#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
    • 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>

  • by sjs132 (631745)

    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

    • by rjejr (921275)
      Digg > FB.
    • 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
  • by 1729 (581437)

    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. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hellop2 (1271166) on Friday January 22, 2010 @07:46PM (#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.
    • by hellop2 (1271166)
      %s/mute/moot/g
    • by Darinbob (1142669)
      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
  • Only 5 days (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Mr. Freeman (933986) on Friday January 22, 2010 @07:56PM (#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.
  • . . . 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.

  • 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.
  • by Nethead (1563)

    Isn't this called the E! network?

  • 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.

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