look at me, looking at them…..

I’ve just read a really poignant piece by Paul Carr over at TechCrunch on the dangers of citizen journalism and how ego-fuelled reporting not only loses us our humanity but also does not necessarily equal the truth:

“…the cameraman was not a professional reporter, but rather an ordinary person, just like the victim. And what did he do when he saw a young girl bleeding to death? Did he run for help, or try to assist in stemming the bleeding? No he didn’t.

Instead he pointed his camera at her and recorded her suffering, moving in closer to her face for her agonising final seconds. For all of our talk of citizen journalism, and getting the truth out, the last thing that terrified girl saw before she closed her eyes for the final time was some guy pointing a cameraphone at her. “Look at me, looking at her, looking back at me.”

I wrote a post a while back on digital rubbernecking and James Governor captured the feeling for me then in his comment.

With the widespread availability of technology for reporting is the race to capture “the” footage making us lose our humanity? Could you watch a girl die to be the first to capture a story or would you run for help? I know what I’d do.

Cross posted with my employer’s blog