Amateur footage and pictures were broadcast around the world that day, and for many weeks and months after.  One clip, entitled What We Saw, was shot by a resident less than 500 yards away, 36 floors up in a residential building.  The unique perspective was kept private for years.

Similarly, it was not professional journalists that first delivered accounts of the London bombings but rather the experiences of Average Joes who were right in the midst of the story.

This phenomenon of ordinary people reporting extraordinary things has caused quite a stir. The boundaries of professional journalism have been broken down and people are no longer required to be experts to make the news.

The internet has thus proven to be a powerful tool in spreading news, whether it’s celebrity gossip or breaking news. One resounding impact has been from the micro blogging service Twitter. For example, a student made the headlines when he managed to free himself from an Egyptian jail just by tweeting one word – “Arrested” – which prompted his family and friends to come to his rescue.

It isn’t just the young and tech-savvy who are becoming empowered. Many businesses are adopting social media too. Even president Obama led the way in online campaigning.

Wherever there is news and gossip, there is potential to participate in citizen journalism. Never underestimate the power of the Average Joe.

Claire Taylor
Red PR Intern

15 Years of Fame