Live news coverage of events, the UK riots being the latest case, follows a now well-worn pattern: Outbreak followed by 24h-wall-to-wall media coverage (much of dubious quality), followed by a sharp drop off as the locust-like news crews are reassigned to follow the new news.
So it is with the coverage of the riots. Apart from a few desultory stories Big Media has moved on, their agenda does not include hanging around to examine the conditions and relationships that led to the riots. And it certainly does not include remaining in communities affected by riots to give voice to those who feel that, once again, they have not been heard.
Stories have been told, of course, but the community has had no control over how, when or where those stories were told. Nor what those stories were. In all the noise communities have had no meaningful voice. Years ago I heard one TV Producer say TV chat shows generated more “heat than light”. So it was with coverage of the riots.
Who or what will now shine a light into these communities, ensuring their voices are heard, their stories told, that they control the agenda?
Step-up citizen journalism. If you want to understand the true value of some of the best citizen journalism and how it is responding to recent events in ways that mainstream media simply cannot, check out these stories: