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Citizen Journalists Join Government & Media to Give Twitter its Voice

2009 December 1

Four Police Officers Shot and Killed

On the first Sunday following an otherwise uneventful Northwest Thanksgiving holiday, four police officers were gunned down at a coffee shop in Lakewood, Washington by a man with an extensive violent criminal history in Arkansas, including aggravated robbery and theft.  This same man was recently arrested and charged in Pierce County in Washington state for third-degree assault on a police officer, and second-degree rape of a child, and had just been released on $190,000 bail.

After the shooting, the suspect fled and was pursued by the full force of the law until he was shot and killed by a Seattle Police officer very early this morning.

You can read the full account in the Seattle Times.

Or, you can watch the story unfold in real time via twitter.

This a social media story that it worthy of being told.

The Social Media Story Begins

Yesterday, my son Daniel alerted me via Facebook about an online article on the Techflash website about the police pursuit of this violent suspect and that the Techflash team was watching the story unfold via a Twitter Feed.

You can watch that live stream right now at this link on my website or visit and enter “#washooting”.

This twitter feed was updated constantly, according to Techflash, by a:

“wide variety of sources — from traditional journalists to government agencies to ordinary Seattle residents”.

All of these sources were combined on Twitter to create one unified stream of news.

The article on the Techflash website continued,

“One could argue that it’s a much more powerful and informative stream than any single news organization could muster.”

This Twitter Feed Hit Closer to Home

Last June we watched in horror, hundreds of thousands of Twitter Posts (tweets), as the Iranian government clamped down on those who protested the validity of the Iran Elections (#iranelections).  (Click here to read my blog post about “The First Battle Fought on Twitter”).

This time, the Twitter news feed hit a lot closer to home.

It appears that Twitter has found its “voice”.  Or, should I say “voices”?  A whole new meaning for the phrase, “what’s happening?”

The lines are blurring

This video press conference courtesy of the Seattle Times

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