BBC tells Employees: Use Social Media to Source, Produce Stories

BBC World Service News Director Peter Horrocks has reportedly said that employees should use social media to help gather information for their reports, and work more collaboratively to produce stories:

“This isn’t just a kind of fad from someone who’s an enthusiast of technology. I’m afraid you’re not doing your job if you can’t do those things. It’s not discretionary”, he is quoted as saying in the BBC in-house weekly Ariel.

Horrocks said that technology was changing journalism, adding that it was important for the BBC to leave a programme-based mindset behind and adapt to new technologies.

Social media tools can act as a check-and-balance to official sources, such as a corporate news release or report from a state-owned news agnecy, and help with tasks like finding a source or fact-checking. For example, a journalist might:

  1. Follow the Twitter posts of people who are knowledgeable about a particular issue
  2. Track fast-moving developments on the ground (i.e. unrest in Iran following 2009 elections)
  3. Ask her network to help identify a source she might not otherwise be aware of, or know how to reach

Q&A with Peter Horrocks – Guardian PDA Digital Content blog

(Via Jay Rosen)

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