Internews to Deploy Media Assistance in Support of Haiti's Information
Needs During Humanitarian Disaster
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In Haiti earthquake coverage, social media gives victim a voice | Media |
[excerpt see website for embedded links]
With many of the official lines of communication down, user-generated
content played an important role yesterday in spreading news about the
Haiti earthquake. Social media partly made up for the lack of information
from the affected area on what had happened and what was most needed.
Twitterfeeds gave an impressive picture of the ongoing earthquake, and the
Guardian's live blog on the rescue mission used social media as well as
information from other news organisations. The BBC also covered the event
combining tweets from the area with the work of its reporter Matthew Price
However, the news organisation with the most material on the quake at
present looks to be CNN. It has seven reporters on the ground but is
still significantly enriching their work with social media.
"We immediately moved someone supervising social media and our iReports to
the Haiti desk," said Nick Wrenn, vice president of CNN International
It's now almost two years since CNN decided officially that iReport a
section of its website where people can upload video material, with
contact information and social media should become a legitimate source
for its newsgathering.
In the Haiti crisis, CNN has published a selection of social media
material, making clear what isn't verified. This user generated content is
set apart from vetted postings, which are labelled differently and used in
the same way as any other verified source.
Despite communications being down in Haiti, by yesterday evening 218 quake
iReports from Haiti were sent to CNN, with 17 being vetted by CNN, and
additional 212 reports of missing loved ones, with 13 of them being
verified, CNN said. Two of their iReporters did live interviews.
Missionaries, says CNN, shared some of the first images they saw of people
affected by the quake, and the conditions they're in. Brian Cory, who CNN
got hold of via iReport, connected the news organisation with his
mother-in-law in Haiti, who took the photos.
Yesterday, CNN's iReport had 1.4 million page views, a 240% increase over
an September-October benchmark; the usual traffic is between 200,000 and
400,000 page views per day.
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