Citizen Journalism – Believe it or not, citizen journalism has been responsible for filming many great moments in history. The rise of the Internet, smart phones, and Twitter is only going keep this trend going.
It was eighteen years ago, the horrific Rodney King beating was captured by an average citizen who thought the encounter was inappropirate. They filmed the incident and the debate continues to rage on.
Not only that event was captured or reported by citizen journalist, but the US Airways Hudson crash Tweets clued the world in long before the media was aware of what was happening. The unfortunate events of the Virginia Tech massacre. Cell video brought us the insane details.
Hopefully, technology will only continue to spur on citizen journalism. It is my opinion these people are doing well in the world. The media and the journalist industry are suppose to be the watch dogs of the world. Reporting, telling every side of the stories. Citizen journalist can only enhance this role and I am looking forward to it.
To demonstrate how valuable citizen journalism has been to our society and world, let’s highlight many of the events, moments, and news that were captured by regular citizens of the world. These are only a sampling of the contributions, but a wonderful starting point and hopefully motivation for others to film and share what they see.
Rodney King beating
March 3, 1991, Rodney King’s high speed chase resulted in a day he or the world would never forget. Four LA police officers Koon, Powell, Briseno, and Wind beat Rodney King on the side of the road. It was unbelieveable to see what transpired.
George Holliday, a plumber, had his video camera with him and recorded the beating. This citizen journalist brought the world something they would have never seen without him. George Holliday tape on KTLA showed how the cops clearly had King under control, but continued to beat him savagely.
There is a George Holliday video, 1993 Biennial Exhibition that is a collectors item to many as we will never forget the events that transpired after this video was released.
Click here, if you want to learn more about the Rodney King Case and where they are now.
November 22nd, 1963 in Dealey Plaza, Dallas, Texas President John F. Kennedy was assassinated as his motorcade navigated downtown. Abraham Zapruder, JFK assassination video is the most widely viewed angle of the historical event.
Abraham Zapruder , a dressmaker, used his 8mm home-movie camera to capture the incident. As you can imagine Zapruder film was given to the Warren Commission to aid in the investigation.
Who owns the rights to the Zapruder film is The Sixth Floor Museum. It remains an important part of the fabric of this country. We will never forget what has happened to our President, but we shouldn’t forget it was one of our citizens that brought us the story.
Virginia Tech massacre
The home of Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, VA was the scene April 16th, 2007. Seung-Hui Cho and Virginia Tech will forever be linked. The student killed and wounded students and faculty members. He also killed himself.
Jamal Albarghouti filmed the Virginia Tech shooting incident in an act of amazing courage. Jamal Albarghouti footage was used on CNN as well as many other stations.
This bit of citizen journalism went above and beyond the call of duty. We will forever be able to look into the final moments of a very disturbed person as he took the lives of fellow students and teachers. The 32 killed in Virginia Tech shooting are gone, but not forgotten.
Seung-Hui Cho was declared mentally ill.
Discovery Channel hostage crisis
James Lee held the Discovery Channel headquarters hostage. It was an unbelieveable event. The Discovery Channel is in Silver Spring, Maryland, a very nice area. It was a bad situation.
The police kill the Discovery gunman, but the hostages sent messages and photos to the outside world via Twitter.
BART police shooting
It was New Year’s Day 2009 the Oscar Grant shooting occurred. The unarmed many was gunned down by BART Officer Johannes Mehserle. BART stands for Bay Area Rapid Transit.
The event was filmed by citizen journalism at it’s best. Multiple people captured the shooting on their cell phones. Karina Vargas, Oscar Grant footage, is one that was used in the court case.
Karina Vargas testifies at Mehserle hearing was also big news as you can imagine, but the outcome of the may not have been what most people were expecting. Johannes Mehserle got a two year sentence. It sparked the Oakland cop verdict protests.
These stories and more we have to remember and mourn thanks to Citizen Journalism.