August 14, 2007
New York Times: All the news we can find without leaving our desks
Lately the Times has been particularly interested in filling us in on news stories based on information gleaned from social networking sites. Apparently Times rules allow this reliable information to be printed without any corroboration or factchecking. You've probably heard the hard-hitting, important news that Giuliani's daughter belonged to an Obama-supporting Facebook group (until she deleted her account).
But did you also know that Facebook is an essential tool for crime reporters? A report on the young woman found dead near NYU helpfully tells us that "A Facebook entry that seems to belong to Ms. McCallum lists 255 friends." In a piece on the suspects in the recent Newark schoolyard shootings, the Times tells us about one suspect: "The teenager’s page on the MySpace social-networking Web site has references to MS-13, an international gang consisting primarily of Latinos, along with a picture of him wearing a bandanna over the lower half of his face."
I am looking forward to articles telling us things like "a google search for movie times in Midtown seemed to show that The Simpsons is playing in Times Square."
Photo from silencematters
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