The Tsunami changed everything!


This was one of the headings on a slide presented by  Senior Associate Dean for Journalism Richard J. Roth  from the Northwestern University in Qatar. This slide was part of the presentation on “Citizen Journalism”, for the keynote address for the current flatclassroom project.

Two of my students were able to remain back at school on Thursday afternoon this week, to watch the presentation from Qatar Academy, Doha, Qatar via skype‘s videoconferencing. As I have downloaded the latest version of skype and as I had period 6 free, I was able to test the system before 3:30pm and get it all working on my laptop -fortunately, as Julie Lindsay and I both had minor technical problems. Skype required me to use a usb microphone, but as I had a headset on, so a quick changeover was made.

I had booked the library and the interactive white board so that we had a ‘big screen’. However, when we logged on there, skype had not been downloaded after the new ghosting. Urgh!! So, the three of us gathered around my laptop screen and with clear video and audio (we only dropped out once) we were able to feel part of the audience.

The keynote was a thought provoking insight into the current state od and future of journalism, with so many people having m-technology in their pockets now:- mobile phones, flip videos, digital cameras  etc Hence the caption “Really the Tsunami changed everything!” Since then so many large world wide incidents and events are captured first by the ordinary person in the street and relayed to the newspapers, magazines, TV stations etc. Some TV stations and newspapers have set up video sites for local communities to upload videos. Others have set up blogs and community citizens add their own news – local sports events, a car accident, community event etc. Another interesting event was an example of a newspaper who gave out 400 odd  free flip video cameras to local citizens to capture the news and upload onto an online site.

Many pertinent questions were fired from Qatar Academy students and these were honestly and well answered. How proud we were to be part of this wonderful event. Listen to the podcast of this keynote address.


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