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'Citizen journalism' offers intimate view of Mumbai attacks

Video by Luke SHRAGO

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2008-11-28

From Twitter to Youtube, online platforms enabled Internet users to read and watch first-hand reports on the series of deadly Mumbai attacks that rocked the Indian financial capital within a few hours of the first blasts.

Click here to read blogs and see photos from our Observers in Mumbai


Internet users were able to read and watch first-hand reports on the series of deadly Mumbai attacks that rocked the Indian financial capital within hours of the first blasts, a sure sign that the World Wide Web is revolutionising the way information reaches readers.


Online blog and chat service Twitter gathers fresh news from dozens of commentators every few seconds. Some use the chat to reassure their friends and family: “In Mumbai and safe”, wrote user s4ur4bh at 2h50 am. Others offer their analysis on the nature of the little-known Deccan Mujajideen terrorist group, whose members claimed responsibility for the attack.


An entry on the attacks was quickly created on the collaborative encyclopedia Wikipedia, with fresh updates that provided more detailed reports than many traditional media sources could offer. “Attacks took place in South Mumbai, at the crowded Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) railway station; two five-star hotels, the Oberoi Trident and Taj Mahal Palace & Tower; the Leopold Cafe, a popular tourist restaurant; a hospital; and the police headquarters where at least three high-level officers, including the anti-terrorism chief, were killed by gunfire,” it stated late on Wednesday.


Qatar-based TV network Al Jazeera posted a Google Maps page pinpointing the location of the different attacks, and appealing to Web users for details.


Dozens of videos, both mainstream and amateur, have already been uploaded on Youtube. In a video called “Shocking new pictures from Mumbai attacks”, web user madonnadownloaded posted images that are more graphic than those aired by traditional networks.


Even major news networks such as CNN aired photos taken by a Web user called  "Vinu”, portraying ravaged streets and shocked citizens on Flickr in the immediate aftermath of the attack.

Date created : 2008-11-27