Journalists Use Facebook to Find Sources and Promote Stories

Facebook, MySpace and other social networking sites have gotten a reputation as places where users routinely post the most mundane details of their daily lives to their closest friends. "Carried out the garbage and now I'm heating up the leftovers" might be typical.

But a growing number of professional, citizen and student journalists who are using Facebook and similar sites to help them find sources for stories, then spread the word to readers once those stories are published online.

Such sites are part of an expanding array of tools - including websites, blogs and Twitter - that reporters are using to promote themselves and their work on the web at a time when traditional print journalism seems fated to go the way of eight-track tapes.