CNN.com reports that Facebook has hired former Mashable journalist Vadim Lavrusik to be the first journalist program manager, a move which Facebook hopes will bring more journalists to the site. According to the same article, Facebook hopes to get journalists using the site to find sources and news.

I think this is a really fantastic idea, as most people still see Facebook as a silly time waster to use at work to check up on friends. If Facebook is successful in its attempt to legitimize itself as a serious tool for journalists, it may well win the respect of professionals who may have scoffed at it before hand. Twitter has seen massive success with journalists since last year, so I think that Facebook has a great chance of stealing some of their thunder. I really liked what Lavrusik said in the article about Facebook being the new version of the White Pages, as it really is a way to find people you may not have had access to in real life.

Facebook’s user base of over 500 million viewers already gives Team Zuckerberg a huge head start over Twitter- they need to utilize this lead before Twitter gets the best of them.

I would love to see Facebook become a legitimate tool for journalists instead of a way to play Farmville and Mafia Wars. The site itself has so much potential for networking, so its a no-brainer that journalists would want to access so many potential sources.