Saturday, November 29, 2008

Mumbai's cyber citizens unleash their power

It has been curtains on a nightmare in Mumbai. Terror attacks that not only inflicted heavy civilian casualties, but took unawares the security infrastructure of the country. So much so that CNN-IBN dubbed the live action that unfolded day in day out for 3 days on TV, 'The longest running Live Horror Show on television'

While the Mumbaikars' resilience was being highlighted by the TV, very few media channels covered the role that the Internet and cyberspace played. Blogs, Twitter, Google Maps, Flickr all went into hyperdrive to cover the events unfolding, providing an emotional help line, linking victims to hospitals, connecting blood donors to blood banks, inviting comments from cybernauts and providing an untainted, unbiased view of the situation clear of all the dramatization being used by TV channels to attract more eyeballs. (One TV channel was advertising Sony Handycam at the right hand upper corner while showing scenes shot from citizen handycams. Long live morality !!)

Even BBC was relying on cyberspace for most of the news, given the stickler it is for unbiased news content. Such is the power of citizen journalism. If only we could effectively harness its power !!

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