Friday, November 28, 2008

Bloggers and Twitters change face of news


CNN show one of Shanbhag's pictures

Bloggers have been on the frontline in providing information around the world as events unfold in India’s latest terror attack. Internet users, not only in India but in countries around the globe, have used various platforms to air opinions, post pictures and give moment by moment accounts of events as they happen. While media organisations broadcast Live pictures from outside the Taj Mahal hotel, amateur photographers were posting their own pictures on blogs and via such platforms as the photo-sharing website Flickr. One amateur Shanbhag posted a number of pictures showing the attempted rescue at the Jewish Community Centre known as Nariman House while Vinu posted dozens of pictures showing the fire at the Taj Mahal hotel and the ongoing scenes in the streets. Their photographs were also becoming part of the story as news organisations like CNN contacted them for their side of the story and showed some of the pictures on air.

But it wasn’t just people with cameras that were making their digital mark during the terror attacks. Thousands turned to the Internet to post comments on blogs and via the micro-blogging service Twitter [search #mumbai]

Others were using Google Docs to post a constantly updated list of known injured and dead [link]. Blogs were also set up to help aid the victims [mumbaihelp.blogspot.com] and several Facebook pages have been created to draw people together and provide a virtual help centre.
But the use of the internet by citizen reporters has not pleased everyone. Indian authorities are said to be concerned by those posting a running commentary on Twitter. One person wrote, “Police reckon tweeters (are) giving away strategic info to terrorists via Twitter” [The Times].
Although there was a slight risk of informing the militants about the movements of security forces, the terrorists were unlikely to have the ability to keep a continuing watch on the Internet. Indeed they would have gleaned more useful information via television pictures broadcast by the world’s media.

1 comment:

arunshanbhag.com said...

Nice write up and thank you for the pic and the link.

I had not seen CNN, so this was the first I had seen an image (several friends had told me I was on the air).

Thank you