Posted by: Ray Brescia | November 1, 2012

Sandy’s Hurricane Force Impact on Journalism

In a post on Huffington Post yesterday, I wrote about my impressions of Sandy from my perch in Albany, giving great credit to my social media network for keeping me apprised of developments throughout New York City as the storm raged.  Here’s an excerpt:

…for one night, the traditional journalistic techniques were of no use against Sandy’s fury. Rather, thousands upon thousands of micro-documentarists took to their windows, the streets, and the internet to track Sandy’s paces and share them with the world. The pointillist vision crafted by many hands offered not just a sense of the events as they transpired, but also of the emotion — the fear, the determination, and even the wonder — shared by those in the midst of the catastrophe. Tweeted pictures from mobile phones flew over the ether; Facebook posts kept everyone informed and connected, even as the power and light faded; and common sense punditry prevailed. Just as Clay Shirky tells us, the barriers to entry were down, and everyone had a thought, a vision, an idea and a prognosis. And there was time for humor too. Images of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man descending on Manhattan, resurrected from his gory, cinematic death, circulated in sardonic cheer.

While we had to deal with imposters and posers creating stories of the storm, I never doubted that my circle of friends and informants were true and real and speaking from the heart, sharing what was before their very eyes. And while traditional journalism may not be dead, for one night, I was grateful for my friends, and their friends, and their friends-of-friends, to keep me close, in touch, and in tune with the true heartbeat of the city, something a newscast has never done.

Read the whole post HERE.


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