I felt a bit like a mother hen today. A UCF journalism student was on the scene when the College of Sciences building was evacuated due to “smoky smell.” She was Tweeting in real time with all the happenings, was professional, relevant, and took some good photos. (See her Twitter page here, event happened on 9/25: https://twitter.com/LauraMNewberry ) I had nothing to do with this reporter’s capabilities or her recognition of the opportunity at hand, but she made me proud and it’s safe to say that the future of convergent journalism is in great hands with a generation who “gets it.”
It made me think about credibility of news sources. Even though she is a member of the student paper staff, she was Tweeting from her own personal account. But it didn’t hinder the very professional tone and truthfulness behind the information she was sharing. It made me rethink how I evaluate news sources. Perhaps citizen reporters are not all bad, and the info they share can in fact be helpful, especially in the wake of breaking news. Even though this student has the ethics and training taught in today’s Journalism schools, anyone could have provided the updates in the same fashion as she. Pictures provide the credibility needed. It was enlightening on a local level to see the benefits of convergent journalism.