In 2001 I was in year eight. Yet its still a struggle for me to remember that new media didn’t exist the way it does today. I was reminded of that after reading news stories and personal reflections.
The article speaks about different types of innovation. When talking about “social media and crowd journalism” the article reminds us that “ubiquitious social media sharing” didn’t exist, the internet was much less sophisticated and smart phones with in-built cameras weren’t around making it difficult for non professional journalists to share information and images.
The comparison it makes between now and then makes it very easy to see the differences and appreciate how much has changed. It is a very relevant article both because it is timely and because it reminds us that the knowledge we take for granted on a daily basis was not always accessible to us.
I’ve noticed a difference between Fast Company’s web page layout and the layout of other online media sources. Fast Company puts all the written info on the left and all the extra information such as related coverage and ads on the right. Lots of websites I’ve seen do the opposite or have a three column layout.
The way Fast Company has done it is easier on the eyes because you are not bombarded with as much information and are more focused on the written content. It’s a ‘keep it to the basics’ approach which is great.
Media Rhetoric Blog
This reflection from a university lecturer (Janet Johnson) who specialises in media described the lack of citizen journalism in 2001 and the void that it left in the coverage and the information flow of the attacks. Here’s a quote which sums it up pretty well.
“Trying to connect to the East Coast during that time was hard. The overload on phone lines was tremendous. I resorted to e-mail to ask my brother what it was like where he lived. My brother and my friends all lived in central New Jersey about an hour from New York City. I tried to connect to CNN.com during that time, but remember the web site’s message that said CNN.com was over capacity and to check back later.”
The writer feels that new media and citizen journalism became prominent to fill a need, a gap that the traditional media is unable to satisfy when unexpected disasters strike. Only those present while it is unfolding can share the most precious and useful information.
The entry was written on September 11 so it is timely, relevant and has currency in the news which are likely to continue covering September 11 from different angles even after the date of the anniversary.