This is on the mark. The writer takes HARO to task, but the trolling for tweeters as a way to find sources is insincere and lazy, too. If you are doing a story and look to twitter because it will provide context, that can be useful, but asking for volunteers with stories via twitter is like feeding trolls.

Now how could all this have been avoided? People could actually do their jobs and not hold open calls for sources. When the New York Times published my utterly bullshit quote about vinyl records back in 2012 and faced criticism for it, some defended them by saying: How else should they have found a source for the article? The answer was simple: “Um, how about go to a record store and talk to a real human being there?” The same applies here. This reporter didn’t feel like actually finding a teenager using an e-cigarette–not when outsourcing it to Twitter could save them getting off of their ass. Gawker could, you know, email or call people who work as Buzzfeed and conduct real interviews.

(via Journalism’s Biggest Problem Is Not What You’d Expect | Observer)

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