Citizen journalism played a huge part in the reporting and mass media production of the tragic events that took place on the 11th of September 2011. This is not only due to the insane amount of mobile phone and camcorder footage but also because even the small amount of news cameras that did manage to capture those fateful moments were completely raw, you could hear the fear and the disbelief as the camera operators yelled out in shock. They too became a part of the phenomenon of citizen journalism because the staged, perfectly angular, edited shots that are generally associated with the mass media were nowhere to be seen.
While the news reports had a new kind of citizen journalism, the traditional videos that give a snapshot of the news in the seconds the complete rundown with no reporter’s monologue. Introduce: YouTube. The video sharing site created in 2005 opened the world up to a raft of new 9/11 videos. Previously shared just amongst friends, or sent in to news agencies 9/11 videos were able to reach a global audience and so began the uploads. A simple search of “9/11 footage gives results upwards of 370,000 videos.
Some of these videos were actually more steady and clear than the supposed professional camera men were able to get.
The video below was recorded by a man who simply set up his tripod and camera and left. He had no idea he would record the exact moment the second tower would be hit.
9/11 news coverage WAS citizen journalism. Perhaps not in its traditional sense so much but 9/11 definitely showed the impact citizen journalism can have.