What has really jumped at me while I'm paying particular attention to this story (as Ontario normally has a very busy fire season in the summer) are the different ways the stories are being told by traditional media outlets and on social networks. What we see happening is a merging of the two.
I think the end result is better coverage. Here's why in my opinion:
- while the traditional news storytelling usually offers a single "angle" (or point of view ..which is not bias ...) based on the reporters/editors experiences and outlook ... the stories told on social networks look at any incident through a myriad of angles or lenses ... and that's a good thing ...uniformity of opinion can be very detrimental is gathering an exact picture.
- many traditional news organizations still have "deadline" ...this doesn't exist on social media ... it's continuous process ... which makes real-time crisis mapping such a valuable tool ...
- old time news stories often relied heavily on "official sources" ... with limited input from the people directly impacted by a disaster ...whereas social network give everyone a voice ... This is proving so valuable in telling the real, broader story ...that newspaper are doing it themselves.
- Citizens are reporters ... and all enterprising news organizations have to do is gather that info ... as seen here. So we have professional news outlets using social storytelling tools (Storify for example).
- Crowdsourcing is therefore a "force multiplier" for the news business but challenges remain, mainly those dealing with info validation and verification and source attribution.