Tsunami in Asia Covered by a Blogger
I saw the news about the earthquake and tsunami in Asia this morning. The outcome has been horrific so far: 6000 are feared dead--many women and children--and that number is not yet final.
Perhaps strangely, my first reaction was not to go to major media sources for more coverage, but to poke around on Technorati for some bloggers in Asia who may have some stories about the tsunami. Thinking about why I did this, I think it's because I subconsciously realized that big media orgs more or less report the same facts while a story is breaking, whereas bloggers can provide more human elements to the coverage of a story.
And so Technorati pointed me to Jeremy over at Winterson.com. He's worried about some friends in Phucket, says people are spooked and leaving the island in droves or trying to stay on higher ground for the night, and has some amazing pictures. Hope your friends are safe, Jeremy.
I know I'm in the minority of people who would think to check a blog before, say, CNN.com, but I wonder how many people like me will point out sites like Jeremy's to our friends... and then how many of those friends will think to look to a blog the next time they are looking for news? We've already seen many examples of quality writing from those on the ground in Iraq. The question is when those sites will hit the mainstream, and what the impact will be on how big media orgs cover the news.
Update: There an interesting analysis over at Online Jounalism Review about CNN's reaction to Iraq journalist Kevin Sites' blog (CNN is Sites' employer while he is in Iraq).