When I first began thinking of launching a website that published the work of citizen journalists, one of the most alluring potential benefits was the idea of putting more eyes on the street.
If we ran a typical local news operation that had a dozen reporters or so, we’d have a dozen people out and about who might see some news. But with grassroots journalism, the possibilities are vastly expanded.
We got an illustration of how important that is on Friday, when citizen journalist Kimberly Michaels called to say that an acquaintance had witnessed an instance of apparent police brutality on Chicago’s North Side.
We encouraged Kimberly to pursue the article and worked with her to make sure it was well-sourced and credible.
The result is this important story detailing police abuse of a teenage boy and of the bystanders who attempted to film the incident.
Now, if we could only get someone to send us video of the incident.