The News … Virtually

CNN announced they are launching a virtual Beauru in Second Life.

According to an article in Media Week, CNN isn’t just creating a virtual reporter within this geek-heaven, it’s creating a sort-of journalism school.

They are looking to Second Life “residents” to create their own news reports (based on real or virtual news) and will help Lifers craft their reports in true journalistic fashion. According to the MW article: the network will offer guidance to avatar citizen journalists via weekly “news meetings” directed by CNN.com staffers. And top CNN personalities including Larry King will conduct virtual training sessions for budding cyber journalists.

A virtual Larry King…wonder if he’ll have more life in him than the flesh-and-bone version.

While I am a bit weirded out by the reports of people spending upwards from 6 hours a day, every day living their virtual lives and ignoring their real ones, I do applaud CNN’s efforts to fully immerse their brand in Second Life in such a different way. (We’ve seen AP and Reuters reporters roving around Second Life for nearly a year now.)

I’ve seen brands enter the Second Life world and fail spectaularly and other brands find a new audience they wouldn’t have reached otherwise. It will be interesting to see how this virtual journalism school does.

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