Saturday, September 20, 2003

Poynter Online - Hurricane Victims, a.k.a. Amateur Journalists

"As Hurricane Isabel rips through the U.S. Eastern Seaboard and leaves countless victims in its wake, an army of writers and photojournalists are covering the storm's impact -- far greater in numbers than have ever covered a hurricane before.

"It's not that the journalism profession has seen an upswell in employment. Rather, it's because a growing number of citizens -- often, victims of the storm's wrath -- are serving as volunteer journalists for this major news story, their work being published by professional news organizations as a supplement to the reporting and photography of professional journalists."


"Some significant developments in the new media world have been swelling to change journalism recently. One of the most notable is the ubiquity of digital cameras, and the growing usage of cell phones with built-in cameras."


"News organizations are starting to get wise to this growing army of citizen camera- and phone-toting photojournalists, so Hurricane Isabel was a prime news story to put the public photos notion to work and request that the public send in photos and first-person text accounts of their hurricane experiences."


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