Friday, August 03, 2007

Blogging the Minneapolis Bridge Collapse...

By now you've all heard the details about the Minneapolis bridge collapse, but attention needs to be brought to the blogosphere, which is currently ripe with the best kind of "citizen journalism" - eyewitness accounts, photos, videos, testimonials, analysis, and more. Traditional newspapers and television stations have been terrific at delivering the facts of this tragedy to the public, but these blogs and other citizen journalists paint a more complete and emotional picture of what actually transpired.

Here are links to some amazing material that would never have been available before the Web.

Noah Kunin gives his firsthand account of how he saw the bridge collapse from his apartment window, and then raced to the scene to rescue survivors in the water.
Description of collapse: Surprisingly quiet, but my entire warehouse apt shook quite a bit. Bridge fell so very slowly - poof. Yelled and yelled but no one answered. Only a handful of ppl in water, all got out ok and then began to help as well. Ran into woman who thought school bus was trapped on east side in fold of highway. Couldn't confirm it or get to the other bank to help.

Blogger Sisyphus gives his eyewitness account from a river cruise he was on that had just gone under the bridge before it collapsed, and which then turned around to assist in the emergency.

Jayber provides a brief account of what he observed having ridden his bicycle over to the scene, including seeing "a bus full of school children that was sitting katywampus on the edge" of the river, and civilians stepping up to help direct traffic in the early stages of the emergency.

And, of course, tons of amateur photos and videos by people arriving on the scene.

Really, the blogosphere is filled with so much more coverage it's astonishing - including the rapid politicization of the bridge collapse, and scores of Minneapolis residents using their blogs as public message boards to notify their friends and family that they're OK.

Best wishes to the families of those lost and missing.


At 1:49 PM, Blogger Robert J. Domanski said...

Update: The New York Times website has just posted this firsthand account as well, of a survivor who was on the bridge and actually plunged into the river, needing rescue.

At 2:15 PM, Blogger Robert J. Domanski said...

Apparently, I can't get my mind off this today. I have to additionally mention the role of Web 2.0 and Wikipedia, whose new entry on the bridge collapse (written and editted completely by ordinary people) is chock full of information and references. The speed with which people posted all of this info is staggering.


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