|“New Orleans in Peril”: Citizen Media|
Uploaded by: Pocket Masters
Pockets: Documents, Teaching The Levees Curriculum Project
Tags: citizenship, curriculum, democracy, hurricane, Katrina, Levees, NOLA
Description/Abstract: The 23 year-old weather blogger who predicted the devastating effect of Hurricane Katrina three days before New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin ordered the city evacuated—and before most Big Media reporters arrived on the scene—is the first person interviewed in When the Levees Broke. Brendan Loy’s prophetic words reached many thousands of Internet readers through a link provided by law professor Glenn Reynolds, who blogs at Instapundit.com. Together Loy, in Indiana, and Reynolds, in Tennessee, performed a public service for residents of the Gulf Coast, using a young news medium still derided in professional circles as the realm of journalism wannabes. Citizen journalism—or citizen media, as it is called by practitioners sensitive to such criticism—is a growing phenomenon worldwide. By augmenting, and sometimes challenging, the information professional reporters put in the story frame, do citizen journalists improve the functioning of the free press that is essential to a democratic society? Spike Lee reminds us that the Katrina narrative—already entering history shaped by myriad citizen writers, photographers, and filmmakers—is a test case.