Saturday, February 10, 2007

Jack Lail in Knoxville: citizen journalism, good stuff

Random Mumblings: After the fire, everything's changed--Great recounting here of the big fire in Knoxville a few days ago and how citizen journalism worked into the mix. Here's an excerpt, and it turns out that the input/output came together as "good stuff"--

People living in the nearby downtown condos on North Gay captured the late-night-into-day fire with digital still cameras and video cameras. The results are just a search away on Flickr and YouTube and personal Web sites. Bloggers here and yonder logged in with personal tales, links and tidbits.

The city's
Web site posted a slide show. The sheriff's department shot aerial video.

All the traditional media used their Web sites for as-it-happens news. At the News Sentinel, where I hang out, we had quite a bit of video, audio, tons of photos, stories that seemed living they changed so much. You can see a lot of the multimedia and sidebars attached to this

Email news alerts flew out. Cell phone alerts buzzed in. Page views and visits ratcheted up.The adrenaline high was palpable even in the print version, but definitely in the Web version.Journalism professor Bob Stepno
rounds up some of the varied coverage. He notes:

"By afternoon, people were online writing about the fire from West Virginia to New York to the other side of the Atlantic. "

Jump the Shark, a blog about Knoxville media mostly, put it this way:

"Technology has reached the point that just about anyone, anywhere, can capture a news event as it's happening, snap a few photos or shoot home video, and have it on the local or national news within minutes."

I've believed that in the abstract as a concept, but now I've seen it in action in my town. And it's good stuff.

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