David Zurawik / Baltimore Sun:
Citizens offer a new image of journalism -- From dramatic cell phone camera images of flames as they choked off neighborhood escape routes to chilling online narratives of evacuation, citizen journalists covering the wildfires in California this week gave new meaning to the concept of reporting a natural disaster from the ground up.
"I'm not knocking what we do in the mainstream media, but citizens are bringing the highly personal, close-up nature of these fires home to viewers in a way that traditional reporting just doesn't do," said Nancy Lane, senior vice president/editorial at CNN. [...]
As of 2 p.m. yesterday, the cable channel had received about 2,000 submissions of personal videos and photos, of which about 300 were approved for use, she said. While the fires covered a wide area, the numerous submissions might also suggest the escalating rate at which citizen journalism is catching on. CNN received 619 submissions after the Minnesota bridge collapse in August and 600 in the wake of the Virginia Tech shootings in April. [...]
iReport / CNN:
Your images of raging California wildfires
Santa Clarita Fire Photo Essay