When most people think about citizen journalism, the overcompressed, jerky cell phone video images come to mind. While it’s certainly true that those type of images often represent citizen journalism, as we’ve seen with the , that is not always the case.

This is another remarkable example of not just citizen journalism, but the quality citizen journalism can reach. A popular Minneapolis bar I’ve hung out at on more than one occasion called Maxwell’s .

Twin Cities blogger Ed Kohler at the scene, cameras in hand, shot still photos, some video, and , , as well as . Here’s the video he shot at the scene:

While the quality of these images are of traditional journalistic standards, what strikes me the most
about citizen journalism is the You Are There quality it tends to convey and which seems to be missing from
mainstream media coverage. Perhaps that’s because of the packaging that comes along with MSM reporting.

It feels sorta like (RAM).

4 Comments

  1. Ed Kohler on February 22, 2008 at 7:27 am

    Great analysis, David. I was trying to decide whether to narrate the video but decided that the sounds of the water hitting the building told enough of a story. I had an 18″ travel tripod with me, which is why the angle is pretty low, and figured a steady camera would make the video more watchable.

    The camera used for the video and stills is a Canon SD800 point & shoot that’s selling for $249 and the tripod was around $19. I cropped the video down from around 2:30 in iMovie (free with my Mac).

    It’s one way to tell a story. I like it. Others seem to like it as well. However, one thing it didn’t do that many people also like is get into the personal stories of people involved in the story. Interviews with employees from Maxwell’s, people who lived in the apartments upstairs, firefighters, etc.

    Another interesting angle on this particular story was the power of syndication. There was a point yesterday when my version of this story held 6 of the top 10 results on Google, including my site, my Flickr photos, the MNSpeak link to my story, outside.in linking back to me, the video on Blip and Revver.



  2. Ed Kohler on February 22, 2008 at 12:27 am

    Great analysis, David. I was trying to decide whether to narrate the video but decided that the sounds of the water hitting the building told enough of a story. I had an 18″ travel tripod with me, which is why the angle is pretty low, and figured a steady camera would make the video more watchable.

    The camera used for the video and stills is a Canon SD800 point & shoot that’s selling for $249 and the tripod was around $19. I cropped the video down from around 2:30 in iMovie (free with my Mac).

    It’s one way to tell a story. I like it. Others seem to like it as well. However, one thing it didn’t do that many people also like is get into the personal stories of people involved in the story. Interviews with employees from Maxwell’s, people who lived in the apartments upstairs, firefighters, etc.

    Another interesting angle on this particular story was the power of syndication. There was a point yesterday when my version of this story held 6 of the top 10 results on Google, including my site, my Flickr photos, the MNSpeak link to my story, outside.in linking back to me, the video on Blip and Revver.



  3. David Erickson on February 26, 2008 at 5:17 pm

    Wow! Thanks for the details, Ed.

    This really is an amazing phenomenon. I think we’re probably pretty luck to live in Minnesota because my sense is that we’ve got a much more active citizen journalism scene here than elsewhere.



  4. David Erickson on February 26, 2008 at 10:17 am

    Wow! Thanks for the details, Ed.

    This really is an amazing phenomenon. I think we’re probably pretty luck to live in Minnesota because my sense is that we’ve got a much more active citizen journalism scene here than elsewhere.