|Pacific Media Watch|
AFP reporters barred from using Wikipedia and Facebook as sources
Title -- 5270 GLOBAL: AFP reporters barred from using Wikipedia and Facebook as sources
Date -- 21 January 2008
Byline -- None
Origin -- Pacific Media Watch
Source -- Journalism.co.uk 17/1/08
Copyright - J
Status -- Unabridged
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AFP REPORTERS BARRED FROM USING WIKIPEDIA AND FACEBOOK AS SOURCES
By Oliver Luft
LONDON (Journalism.co.uk/Pacific Media Watch): Agence France Presse (AFP) has banned its journalists from using Facebook and Wikipedia as sources, the agency's London bureau chief told a Lord's Committee yesterday.
In response to a question from the Lord's Committee on Media Ownership
and the News about the trustworthiness of online sources, Pierre
Lesourd said that internal rules that governed the entire organisation
prevented journalists from relying on many new "virtual'"sources for
"We have internal rules that are regularly updated [on this matter].
Wikipedia for example, we have a written rule inside the company that
forbids any journalist using Wikipedia," he said.
"We have the same thing, updated last week, for Facebook because of
the incident with Bilawal Bhutto in Oxford.
"Some newspapers picked up pictures on Facebook about Mr Bhutto, which
turned out to be fake.
"We are trying to be vigilant about it but, obviously, everyday a new
virtual source appears. We have to be very careful."
Speaking to Journalism.co.uk today, Lesourd clarified the policy,
stating that reporters working for the international agency could not
pick up information from these sites for news without referring to
other, more reliable sources for factual clarification.
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