Social Media and Flooding

You have to be hiding to not read or see the news coming from Calgary and the flooding that is hitting that city.  It was the top news stories on all of the channels that I watched this morning – CNN, CTV News, CBC News.  The only thing that brought a smile was the US reporting where they referenced the “Royal Canadian Mounted Police” whereas the Canadian channels reported as Canadians would say “Mounties” or “RCMP”.

The video was horrendous and yet, as I watched and switched channels, I couldn’t help but notice how staged for the news things were.  There’s Prime Minister Harper; there’s a professional clip showing the action from the Bow River, …  The reports are well scripted, shot, and have professional voice overs.  You would expect that coming from such professional news organizations.

But there’s another side to the reporting.

The common citizen, affected by what is happening right in front of their eyes are capturing the event live, as it happens.  It’s not part of their job; it’s not their assignment; they’re not getting a pay cheque for their efforts – they’re sharing what they’re seeing for themselves, their families and the world.  The video is shot in the first person; sometimes great quality, sometimes not so great.

However, there is a sense of authenticity to it.  It really comes from the heart.  Here’s just a random video from Jordan Danik, posted on YouTube.  As I write this, it has 183 views.

Much more can be found here.

My thoughts go out to Calgarians and friends from Alberta.

I also wonder about classroom moments and discussions about this on Monday.  If your access to social media is blocked, is this an opportunity lost?  News is often reported and fully covered there first.  Is this not a perfect opportunity to leverage the power of social media in the classroom?

 

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