Faces of Journalism

Twitter Journalism

With all this talk about old news outlets giving way to social media, here is a story to consider.

This morning I dialed into 5-0 Radio Pro, an iPhone app that’s a quite capable police-fire-emergency radio scanner. After making the rounds of my regular channels, I checked out the current Top 100 and noted Nashville Fire and EMS in the #1 slot with 257 people listening. That’s odd because perennial #1, Los Angeles Police Department, was in the #2 spot with 81 listeners. “Something is going on in Nashville”, I thought.

I openeded the Thomson Reuters news app and scanned the headlines. Bomb scare in Manhattan… oil slick… Kentucky Derby results on a sloppy day… and nothing about Nashville. Perhaps Nashville in nearby Tennessee was having a sloppy day of its own? I checked the AP app, and sure enough found one story about foul weather and a few deaths in Tennessee and Mississippi.

So on to Twitter. A quick search of trending topics yielded “Nashville”. Upon selecting this, I was bombarded by realtime reports from countless people on the ground of an unfolding disaster. If you consider every 140-character tweet to be a headline, here are just a few of the headlines:

“Wow. Nashville is underwater right now. My prayers go out to all the families in need.”

“If you have disaster needs, plz call 6152504300. The Red Cross has shelters set up across Middle TN.”

“So flight from Tampa to Nashville is now canceled. We are getting on a flight to Birmingham, going to attempt driving home from there.”

“http://twitvid.com/RZMZM – Our backyard Nashville, TN Flood, West Meade Nashville | just wow!”

“#nashvilleflood Slideshow: Heavy Rains Douse Tenn. – Vol. 9: Click inside to look at some of the (cont) http://tl.gd/14dddu”

RT @StormTrack9: A large amount of flights are canceled to and form Nashville. Please call ahead for your flights

This is what journalism in 2010 looks like, and it is us. My heart goes out to everyone in the Tennessee / Mississippi region.

One Response to “Faces of Journalism”

  1. I surely hope that the us government manages this disaster much better than they did with hurricane Katrina. Having made it through a flooding personally, I will tell you that it can become absolutely devestating. Even if you’re lucky enough to be able to be able to replace any material posessions, there will always be many important things that wealth can’t restore. My heart definitely is out to those individuals and they’ve been in my thoughts and prayers.

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