New England’s citizen disaster reporters

By Steve Outing

The flooding in New England this weekend was another opportunity for “citizen journalism” to shine. New England Cable News (NECN) has been accepting video clips and photos from people around the region and airing them on the newscast (and posting them to the NECN website on Boston.com).

This is the sort of thing where citJ really shines, because, as NECN broadcasters are saying, the professional journalists can’t be everywhere shooting footage. So flooding victims and witnesses are sending in images to web@necn.com, and some of it is getting posted to the Web and shown on the cable channel.

Disasters, time and again, are shown to be the best opportunities for integrating citizen journalism with traditional news reporting. Of course, it’s not that this sort of thing hasn’t gone on for years; witnesses sent in occasional photos and reports to news organizations even before the Internet. The difference, obviously, is how easy it is for people to send in their own reporting now. The amount of content submitted during disasters is remarkable, so editors have much to choose from to highlight, as NECN is doing.

Author: Steve Outing Steve Outing is a Boulder, Colorado-based media futurist, digital-news innovator, consultant, journalist, and educator. ... Need assistance with media-company future strategy? Get in touch with Steve!