Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Citizen journalists shake up Austin

Two really fascinating recent and local developments in citizen journalism.

This week Kevin Brown was shot, reportedly in the back, by an Austin police officer. The video of the shooting comes not from a car-mounted camera but from bystander Kendrick Stanley. I'm unclear as to whether he gave or sold his footage to the Austin American-Statesman or if they picked it up via a distributor like pluck or Youtube, but the paper is running it heavily on their website. At the end of the day this civilian video will play a major part in sorting out this controversial shooting.

In the same vein, administrators at Stony Point High School in Round Rock are trying to convince Youtube to remove a video of a fight between students in the hallway of the school taken on a student's cell phone.

The term "citizen journalism" may not have quite caught on yet and people may not even know they're doing it, but citizen journalism is alive and well.


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