Let’s take a step back: this is not a Facebook guide to how to be a journalist. It’s the Facebook guide to how to use Facebook. There were no questions about journalistic integrity, such as verifying your sources, fact-checking, or how to develop your interview skills. Instead, the final assessment questions ranged from technical (“Why might a journalist tag the location of a Facebook Live video broadcast?”) to random trivia about whether you can name that Facebook feature (“Which of these tools lets journalists show their audience a scene from all angles?”).
I can see the value of teaching journalists how to use Facebook. 62% of adults get their news from social media, and Facebook owns a large slice of that pie. The press should understand the more nuanced parts of such a powerful platform.
That said, this “journalism certification” is a mislabled joke of a program. Journalists don’t need to get more serious about Facebook, Facebook needs to get more serious about journalism.