A man was recently tasered to death at a Vancouver airport. Sounds awful, doesn’t it? Wait till you the video!
…wait…what? Who would shoot a video of something like that?
Have you seen the video of Michael Richards (Kramer character on Seinfeld) ruining his career in a night club.
Oh! How about the hotel that was recently imploded? Review of video tapes have led the police to believe someone may have been inside the building when it fell.
Some quick thoughts there, but what do they all have in common? Each of these videos was shot by a citizen. Citizen journalism is becoming a much more common practice. More often now people have video capabilities on their cell phones which they almost always have with them. Digital cameras also have the capability to record and are becoming smaller and easier to carry around in a pocket or purse. With this increase in technology comes more citizen journalism.
Citizen journalism is not something you get a degree in or need any special training for. It is simply a citizen doing the job of a reporter. The three video examples above were all videotaped by someone who just happened to be in the right spot at the right time. They used their recording devices to capture a moment they felt was newsworthy. If Michael Richards had said the same things fifteen years ago there is a pretty good chance he would still have respectable career. Unfortunately someone caught his words on tape and then released that tape to the media for the entire world to see. That image of Richards in the club and the language coming out of his mouth is still very clear all because a citizen decided to record what was happening.