Citizen journalism has taken off once again with the still-developing plane crash in New York city. Whilst I am keen to stress this is not deemed an act of terror (unless you consider the bird that flew into the engine as a "suicide pigeon"), showing the immense impact on-demand television, Twitter and Flickr has on events such as these are tremendous.
I've been using my phone to watch the on-demand broadcast of BBC News, to "report" to Mary-Jo Foley, who only lives a mile or so away from the crash site. Because New York is such a big place, having this on-demand capability to watch live streaming of events 6,000 away from me, I was able to tell Mary-Jo of an event happening only a mile away from her. MSNBC are still covering the event live on their own on-demand live broadcast service.
Using Windows Live Messenger on my computer, and a simple version of BBC iPlayer on my mobile phone, I was able to watch BBC News live on my phone, and speak to Mary Jo at the same time. With this, I could tell her what was happening before she even knew about it - as it was happening. This shows no disrespect or detriment to my colleague, not at all; it just shows the power the Internet can have when reporting a current event.
Within an hour of the crash happening, with the use of mobile phones and online Web 2.0 applications, Flickr has been updated with many photos such as these, and Twitter has been going absolutely nuts. My colleague and friend Jen Leggio wrote about the intense power of Twitter during and after the events in Mumbai late last year; a gutsy and ballsy post of which, I honestly believe, she should win an award for such a moving piece of journalism.
All passengers who were on the plane are safe, alive, and well. Thank God. But this is the next generation of journalism - and we're living it, right here and right now.