A small plane and a tourist helicopter collided over the Hudson River in lower Manhattan today. Though Twitter played a big role like it often does with breaking news coverage, this time some of the best coverage of the breaking event was from the source itself: the Fire Department.
The FDNY has a live video stream and coverage of the rescue efforts that allowed those who tuned in to listen and watch updates from the air and comment real-time in a “shoutbox.” Sure the New York Times and Fox News were updating their breaking stories on their websites, however, the traditional news reports often lagged behind. Why? They were relying on the facts from the source, who itself was reporting on their live video feed, garnering more than 300 viewers.
As a journalist, I have to ask myself, is this a trend that is going to continue in the future and will it replace the role of journalists? I think not, mostly because professional reporters are trained to get the details and provide it in a coherent way, which was often lost in the jargon of the FDNY feed.
Also, I will add that the NYTimes and other news sources offered much more context in their stories and eventually included a video and photos of the rescue scene. But this live feed is a good example of how sources are playing a role in reporting themselves, and most of the time they have much more access than reporters do: