News agency Reuters has become a news target itself as it announced today plans to open a virtual bureau in the online life-simulation platform Second Life. Users will now be able to look up Reuters reports about the world of Second Life as well as the real world within the virtual environment.
Adam Pasick, a London-based media correspondent for Reuters, will be the first “virtual bureau chief” when the news corporation makes its Second Life debut on Wednesday. The virtual service will be available to the nearly one million users who have registered to Second Life.
“As strange as it might seem, it’s not that different from being a reporter in the real world. Once you get used to it – it becomes very much like the job I have been doing for years,” said Pasick.
Other reporters will join the virtual news team to create familiarity with the techie crowd. It’s part of what Reuters is calling its “strategy to reach new audiences with the latest digital technologies.”
Second Life, which generates approximately $350,000 in actual cash transactions per day, has several other real-world corporations making their mark in the digital environment, including Toyota, Sun Microsystems, and Cnet. The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has also set up shop in Second Life.
Users will be able to go to the “Reuters Atrium” with the click of a button, where they will have access to the latest news stories published by Reuters. The latest headlines will also be delivered to virtual mobile devices in Second Life.
Reuters has stated that it is not “bending any editorial rules to operate in a world that blends fiction with reality.” As Pasick put it, “Being unbiased, being accurate, being fast, all the things that Reuters strives for, they hold true in just about any environment in which you would want to report the news.”