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A Citizen Journalist's Images

Now the image I’m linking to here from the Flickr site, and the others in the sequence, aren’t earth-shaking. But they are the kinds of things that newspaper photographers feel fortunate to capture occasionally.

In this case, a man named David Newberger happened to be on the spot — in Tulsa on a business trip — when a commercial commuter plane was accidentally directed into a fuel truck. No explosion, thankfully, but a picture that speaks mini-volumes given the hassles that were sure to follow.

More and more, people are finding themselves on the spot in these situations, and they’re creating a public record of a kind. Most will never be “media” in the traditional, commercial sense. But it’s real media in its own right.

10 Comments on “A Citizen Journalist's Images”

  1. #1 Jon Garfunkel
    on Aug 15th, 2006 at 10:16 am

    Point taken. But more important, who was the editor/curator that brought this to your attention?

  2. #2 Dan Gillmor
    on Aug 15th, 2006 at 2:32 pm

    The reporter himself…

  3. #3 Jon Garfunkel
    on Aug 15th, 2006 at 3:33 pm

    Which reporter? how?

  4. #4 Carlo Felice Dalla Pasqua
    on Aug 16th, 2006 at 12:13 am

    The citizen reporter himself, I suppose. By e-mail, Dan?

    How many good articles and photos (that are articles “written” with a different tecnique) we – journalists of the so called mainstream media – are losing. We could do better, especially here in Italy. No media one will ever be able to cover everything happening in the world, but we can do better, indeed! Here the problem are either old journalists and old editors and old publishers.

    Let’s hope something is going to change soon (I don’t mean that the mainstream media are going to to be buried, but they should change, in their own interest). Meanwhile you know that you have a faithful and silent reader in Italy, Dan. Good luck 🙂

  5. #5 Dan Gillmor
    on Aug 16th, 2006 at 6:19 am

    Jon, — sorry, didn’t mean to be obscure. Newberger sent me an email.

    Carlo, I also don’t think the big media will be buried. They definitely do need to change (and there are signs it’s happening).

  6. #6 Jon Garfunkel
    on Aug 16th, 2006 at 7:49 am

    Media, as we’ve come to understand it, is the power to bring one message to many. This includes capturing, disseminating, contextualizing, amplifying.

    Indeed: those processes are no longer under one roof. But as one person captures an image somewhere in the world, you still need media processes to kick in place. In this case, the disseminating was as much via as it was by And the context of the story, whatever the photographer thought it might be, is now just an example of someone taking a picture.

  7. #7 Dan Gillmor
    on Aug 16th, 2006 at 3:11 pm

    True. But I noticed those pictures elsewhere after he sent me the email (on a couple of blogs). So the “community” was working its magic anyway.

  8. #8 Jon Garfunkel
    on Aug 16th, 2006 at 7:20 pm

    Ok, but frankly I’m finding the Jill Carroll Story from CS Monitor a helluva lot more interesting. Readers ask questions, she’s answering on camera.

  9. #9 David Newberger
    on Aug 16th, 2006 at 8:43 pm

    Jon, I would agree that the Jill carol story is a bit more interesting. However, there is also a negitive side to it as well from my viewpoint. I wonder out of the hundreds, thousands, or whatever number it will be worth of emails for the Jill Carol story will not even see the light of day. I see a mere 2 questions a day going up. Why limit the number of questions if people are so interested in it? Why not post 10 a day or if the volumn is enough 100 a day?

  10. #10 Jon Garfunkel
    on Aug 16th, 2006 at 10:21 pm


    This all comes down to the economics of attention, which I have regularly brought up with Dan (as has Seth, independently) , and without which, no proper understanding of media can be done. There could well be hundreds of questions, but we just have to trust CSM for picking the more interesting or representative ones. They had guts for picking a question by a person accusing her of anti-American loyalties (which was likely first spread by conservative radio host Debbie Schlussel).