Facebook lends a hand to a lazy journalist

Thursday, September 4, 2008

By: Kathryn Lisk

"Facebook is a social utility that connects you with the people around you," states Facebook's official log-in page. It is used on college campuses across the country to keep students informed in each other's lives. Students post pictures for their friends to see, write on each other's pages, and send emails to stay up to date on what's going on in their social circle that is constantly growing.

 And as of August 26th, Facebook is used by over 100 million members worldwide. Wow.

I use Facebook daily to keep up with friends from home and to stay in close connection with my friends here, at Simpson. But I never thought of Facebook as an interview source for journalists.

Khristopher Brooks, a journalist in Lincoln, Nebraska says that using Facebook to get in touch with students at the University of Nebraska campus saves him hours of interviewing so he can spend more time reworking his articles before his deadline. He simply searches for a Nebraska student with the right major, interest, and age from his Facebook account, and then tries to set up an interview with them from there.

As a student and a Facebook user, I am certain I wouldn't accept a friend request from some journalist I'd never met who is contacting me over a personal, social cite. I simply wouldn't want this stranger to have access to all of my photos and information.

 If a journalist doesn't even have the time to find a student to interview in person on campus, he either is not the type of reporter I'm comfortable talking one on one with, or he's incredibly lazy and not worth my time.

I draw the line there. But for the students who have accepted Brooks' request, best of luck.


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