Recent events have demonstrated the power of grassroots journalism. The recent bombs in London were followed by a wave of media from independent citizens. Before the first TV crews had arrived, passersby were recording and documenting the events, and blogging on their sites, uploading photos to Flickr, commenting on news websites…
Wikipedia’s community had built a detailed article on the attacks within hours.
The media companies were quick to respond. The proportion of “amateur mobile video” used to report the London blasts on mainstream TV and internet was unprecedented.
Dan Gillmor, founder of Grassroots Media, which promotes what it calls “citizen journalism,” said witnesses’ photos and online accounts would reshape the role of traditional news media over time. As more and more photographs and blogs go online with major events, Mr. Gillmor said, the mainstream news media should search those postings and point their readers to the best ones.
News and images of the Asian tsunami, the US elections, Live8 & G8 have all spread quickly through grassroots journalism. At a time when media corporations are merging and swelling like never before, this New Broadcasting – distributed and empowered and at a wireless hub near you – could be just the answer we need.