Like many others, my Thanksgiving joys were tempered by the madness in Mumbai. While the major news organizations struggled to get information out to the public it was the public themselves who were telling the world just what was going on.
Services like Twitter, Flickr, YouTube and even good old fashioned email, combined with the massive proliferation of “smart” phones capable of capturing photo and video and transmitting it nearly instantaneouasly meant that the flow of information out of Mumbai was simply not going to be limited to what CNN was able to access.
In fact, if it weren’t for the rise of what is being refered to as “citizen journalism” who knows what the world might have missed:
“At the end of the day on Friday, CNN’s license to transmit live video in India expired, forcing the network’s correspondents to report via telephone. CNN and other channels in the United States relied on live coverage and taped reports from Indian networks.
The cameras and phones carried by people swept up in the attacks were not subject to any such rules. Mr. Shanbhag photographed one of the fires at the Taj hotel and the wreckage outside a popular cafe that was attacked on Wednesday and posted them on his Flickr stream. Some people transmitted video from inside the Taj hotel to news networks via cellphones. And reporters used cellphones to send text messages to hotel guests who had set up barricades in their rooms.” (via)
While governments spend more time and money than ever trying to monitor their citizens it is at least a bit comforting to know that some citizens are doing some monitoring of their own.
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