Friday, January 04, 2013

Pro Publica employs social media to find harm

Here is an interesting article by the folks at Pro Publica about how they used Facebook to do background research for an ongoing investigation into issues of patient safety.  The lede:

A typical investigation might proceed like this: a journalist spends months (or more) reporting, keeps it fairly hush-hush, writes several stories, and then monitors comments and the social web as reaction unfolds.
But for our ongoing investigation into patient safety, spearheaded by reporters Marshall Allen and Olga Pierce, we’ve launched community and crowdsourcing efforts long before we’ve published a single traditional story. We’ve developed a database of sources that is helping to inform the investigation as we report it. And we are using Facebook to create a space for patients, providers and journalists to discuss patient safety issues openly.

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