Crowd-sourced coverage, Hudson River bureau

US Air’s unscheduled landing yesterday in the Hudson River proved to be a perfect subject for crowd-sourced photojournalism.  See some coverage here http://www.cnn.com/ireport/. My favorite is the MacGyveresque image captured by a woman using her digital camera held up to a telescope. The shot is on the CNN I-report rotation if you follow the link. I haven’t seen any yet from passengers but surely some will surface (no pun intended)  over the next few days. 

Crowd-sourcing works especially well for photojournalism because nearly everyone in the developed world  is already carrying a camera in their cell phone. In fact, there is a better than average chance that someone will be holding their phone the moment a news event unfolds in front of them. Coupled with the distribution capabilities of the web the images can be rapidly circulated through new media and legacy media outlets. Also, there seems to be an inverse relationship between content and technical qualities of the photo. The more compelling the content, the less technical expertise is needed to capture the moment. 

No one seems to know where this leaves traditional photojournalists. Some say multi-media will continue on where traditional print media leaves off (see the Kobre guide http://www.kobreguide.com/) 

One thing for sure, the crowd will always be there and if they’re not….check for security camera coverage.

kp

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~ by keithphilpott on January 16, 2009.

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