Fearless Five brave Facebook and Twitter

On Feb. 1, five journalists will reportedly lock themselves up in a
French farmhouse for several days with only Twitter and Facebook for
outside information, “to test the quality of news from the social
networking and micro-blogging sites.” The Fearless Five have been
assembled from Canadian, French, Belgian and Swiss radio stations by
the RFP French-language public broadcasters association, reported AFP.

reaction is to laugh out loud, hope they are supplied with fabulous
food and copious wine and so wish I were there — but then wonder if
the experiment will prove more like a bad reality TV show, revealing
more about the participant’s social interactions than news. (And also
test merely the quality of their Twitter and Facebook “friends.”)

Matthew Mathew Ingram, however, is not amused.
In fact, he is seriously indignant: “The French project is a farce and
a sideshow. All it risks “proving” is that some journalists — and their
masters (the experiment is being sponsored by the French public
broadcasting association) — are as clueless as anyone else about
Twitter or Facebook and how those services can benefit journalism. The
fact is that journalism has always been a complex system with multiple
inputs and multiple sources, and social media just adds to that.
Excluding all but one or two of those sources proves nothing.”

Oh, Matthew Mathew. Harumph.