Sunday, November 8, 2009

When Crisis Hits

What do citizen journalists do when crisis hits? Above is a video from This American Life, a radio show based out of Chicago. The video gives an example of what happens when covering a crisis surpasses the importance of assisting in the crisis.

Tech Crunch posted a great analysis of using media (and social media) in times of crisis. If you've been following the news, you know that this past week, thirteen lives were taken at Fort Hood in Texas.

What the article asks is: When does our "iReporting" interfere helping at the scene of a disaster? Those communication devices we carry around called "cell phones" should be used, first and foremost to get help. They can be useful during emergency responses (I'm thinking of the Mumbai bombings, 9/11 attacks, and the Iranian protests/elections).

It's a fine line for ethics - so how do we know how to use these tools in the best way, given the situation? I can't say I've ever been put to the test (I don't even have a smart phone to begin with) but it's something to think about.

The Tech Crunch article cited a tweet that read: "The poor guy that got shot in the balls" - and then included this photo of a Fort Hood soldier rolling into the hospital on a gurney.

I think citizen journalists are an important part of spreading news, but that privacy and respect are still considerations in the iReporting process.


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