Wave of Destruction

The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami was the last major event that occurred before the social revolution - YouTube, Flickr, Facebook and smart-phones. This was also the first major event that provided mainstream credibility to the blogosphere, before this event consumers turned to news publications for information.

For the first time ever news publications did not have the info and were desperate for content, any. TV crews flew into the effected areas and started purchasing suitcases/video and still cameras sight unseen off shell shocked tourists whom were too traumatized to remember if they had captured anything.

Wave of Destruction was one of the worlds first microblogs and was for many months the 1901th most visited website in the world. It was featured in a TED talk as an example of “when social media became the news” and how the internet can surpass, or at least complement, traditional news media – even in terms of delivering multimedia content.

Blogging has now completely altered how reporters report, where they report from and who is doing the reporting of disasters. Journalists and aid agencies are having to rethink their roles the old cosy relationship where aid agencies gave journalists access to disaster zones and victims in return for a namecheck is being torn up. Reporters can now get what they need direct from the public and Aid agencies are now turning their own staff into citizen journalists and filmmakers in order to get their message across.