Here's what Mindy McAdams foresees:
- Breaking news will be online before it’s on television.
- Breaking news — especially disasters and attacks in the middle of a city — will be covered first by non-journalists.
- The non-journalists will continue providing new information even after the trained journalists arrive on the scene.
- Cell phones will be the primary reporting tool at first, and possibly for hours.
- Cell phones that can use a wireless Internet connection in addition to a cellular phone network are a more versatile reporting tool than a phone alone.
- Still photos, transmitted by citizens on the ground, will tell more than most videos.
- The right video will get so many views, your servers might crash (I’m not aware of this happening with any videos from Mumbai).
- Live streaming video becomes a user magnet during a crisis. (CNN.com Live: 1.4 million views as of 11:30 a.m. EST today, according to Beet.tv.)
- Your print reporters need to know how to dictate over the phone. If they can get a line to the newsroom, it might be necessary.
- Your Web team must be prepared for this kind of crisis reporting.
She concludes by wondering "…whether the mainstream media are superfluous in these situations — or can they perform a useful service to the public by sifting and filtering the incoming reports from the center of the events?"
I hope Ms. McAdams will forgive my reposting here. She, like Seth Godin, is a blogger who deserves not to be edited or excerpted.