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Reuters closes 'virtual' bureau

Reuters has closed its most bizarre bureau - the virtual one in cyberspace, online reports said on Friday.

The two-man bureau was opened two years ago at Sadville on Second Life, an imaginery playground in the Internet world of unreal, make-believe environments. It comprised Adam Reuters (real name Adam Pasick and Eric Reuters (Eric Krangel).

A Reuters spokeswoman, confirming the Sadville bureau had been closed, told one online reporter: ”We’re still reporting on Second Life, but only as part of our usual tech and media coverage.”

“Does Reuters’ withdrawal mean they’re going to have to explain to their boards why they spent tens of thousands of dollars on the digital equivalent of a wife-swapping party on an oil rig (embarrassing, empty, yet still really dirty)?” The Register said. “Well, there’s no need to fire up the self-justification Powerpoint yet, as it’s only Reuters editorial that has lost the faith.

“‘As a company we’re still committed to Second Life,” the spokeswoman said. ‘We’re maintaining our corporate presence.’ Bravo!”

Krangel himself went online to report in real-world confessional style: “For a year and a half, I reported under the byline ‘Eric Reuters’ in Second Life...

“As part of walking my ‘beat’, I’d get invited by sources to virtual nightclubs, where I’d right-click the dancefloor to send my avatar gyrating as I sat at home at my computer. It was about as fun as watching paint dry.”

Krangel added: “I wasn’t in Second Life to play, I was there on assignment for Reuters.”

The opening of the bureau was described as part of Reuters’ strategy to embrace new digital platforms to deliver next generation news and information.

“Reuters is all about innovation – new technologies, new audiences, and new ways of presenting the news,” CEO Tom Glocer said at the time. “In Second Life, we’re making Reuters part of a new generation. We’re playing an active role in this community by bringing the outside world into Second Life and vice versa.”


Reuters Second Life News Center ■

The Register