Friday, October 13, 2006

PEJ story describes BBC video that envisions citizen-disaster reporting in 2010


FROM the Project on Excellence in Journalism website . .

Brave new world: Citizens and cell phones?

It's the year 2010, and an underground subway station in the center of London has been bombed.

Within minutes, a British businessman leaving on a trip receives a text message on his cell phone alerting him tothe incident. Consequently, he directs his cab driver to take an alternative route to the train station so he willmake his connection. En route, he logs onto BBC via a computer portal that is now standard equipment inLondon cabs and sees the first pictures of what appears to be a major terrorist attack in the heart of the city.After boarding his commuter train, he checks his phone throughout the journey for instant updates.

On the scene, one of the first victims of the attack, a 20-year-old college student, staggers out of the subway station. Though dazed and shaken, she contacts the BBC News and goes on the air live, reporting via a camera on her phone even before the emergency responders arrive. As the week unfolds, she will produce a video blog each day that documents her recovery, an online feature attracting many well-wishers from around the world.

This is the brave new world of information technology in the year 2010 - according to a video that aired Oct. 6 at the Online News Association conference in Washington DC. In a keynote address at the event, deputy director for BBC News Adrian Van Klaveren sketched out a scenario in which a mix of citizen participation and emerging technologies will increasingly shape the future of news.


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