digital nation - life on the virtual frontier

News By You has new meaning right now

June 20, 2009 _ 20:04 / Caitlin McNally / comments (0)

If you want to see what's going on on the streets of Tehran right now, don't turn on CNN or the BBC. Check this site:

Demotix, a site for "citizen journalism," collects user-generated photos taken by amateur and freelance journalists from around the world and markets them to mainstream media. In Tehran, where the government has stifled foreign reporting and cracked down on Internet access, the fastest stream of update-to-date news and images are coming from outside traditional channels. Twitter feeds, while difficult to verify, have played a part in bearing witness to the fallout from the recent presidential elections. Demotix looks to be playing a similar role, in images instead of words, and then a step further. This week, Demotix photographers provided images from Iran for the front pages of the websites of both The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

In circumstances like these -- when a country's political situation boils over, and a draconian government tries to prevents contact with the outside world -- is this networked, responsive site the future model for breaking news journalism?

-- Caitlin



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posted February 2, 2010

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