We had massive hail storms and several tornado touchdowns in Dallas yesterday, and it got me thinking about how different the reporting types of events has changed so drastically. It used to be the you had someone on a horse riding out to the storm to see how big it was, then trying to outrun the storm back to town to warn everyone that the storm was coming. Fast forward quite a bit, and we’ve got the technology to report on a storm in real time, but we still had to send someone out there with a camera and a mic. In times past, you only got a piece of the story: generally, the most juicy piece, which was the size of the storm. A few weeks or a few days later, and you’d get the other juicy piece of the story, the damage.
Yesterday’s “reporters” were real people with smart phones, recording, tweeting, and posting pictures and videos of the storm in real time. It was teachers taking a photo of their third grade class in duck-and-cover position in the hallway. It was high school students tweeting photos of blown out windshields immediately after the storm passed through. It was parents posting Facebook status updates about school closures. It was my husband contacting me on instant message, cell phone, and office phone to make sure I wasn’t in a place where people were live-streaming an approaching twister. These are real people, with real stories, from every angle.