Virginia Tech citizen reporting

CNN just said (at 3p ET on Monday) that already, 900,000 people have watched the video of the scene at Virginia Tech during the mass shooting there, made by student Jamal Albaughouti. (More would have seen it if I could link right to the video or embed it, by the way.) This is the next step after 7/7 and still pictures: video. And the next step at the next big news event: it will be shot and broadcast live from a cellphone.

: LATER: CNN keeps calling Albaughouti “our I-reporter.” I suppose that’s OK: pride.

Albaughouti was just on Larry King’s show. He said that he was happy to leave the Middle East and go to Virginia because it was safe. Did King ask him where he was from? Of course, not. He was rushing to get Dr. Phil on. “You know, I deal with psychopaths and sociopaths everyday who are capable of doing this,” Dr. Phil says. If this blog had a webcam, you’d see me rolling my eyes now.

King is interviewing students, whom I want to hear. But he keeps interrupting them to go to Dr. Phil, whom I could well do without.

: Note also that students in a media class in the school immediately took to the phones and email to try to find out facts and get them up for fellow students on their site, PlanetBlacksburg.com (which is well overloaded now). This is the urgency and immediacy of journalism in the midst of a story but, more important, of a need.

One lead by Kevin Tosh:

As a bitter wind blew and a light snow fell over the campus of Virginia Tech, the morning hustle and bustle of an average Monday morning was quickly quieted by a senseless act of violence.

A lone gunman entered West Ambler Johnston Hall on the campus of Virginia Tech and killed two people — one of them identified as Resident Advisor Ryan Clark– shortly after 7 Monday morning.

More headlines there: “Virginia Tech is Devastated by the Worst College School Shooting in U.S. History” and “Afternoon Press Conference Raises More Questions Than Answers.”

When asked why officials did not close campus sooner when the shooting incident occurred in West Ambler Johnston, Virginia Tech Police Chief Wendell Flinchum said, “We thought the situation was handled. . . We knew two people were shot and that’s the information we went off of.”

: ARRRGH: Dr. Phil blames it on video games already, knowing absolutely jackshit nothing about the case or the killer. He says that we are “programming the mass murderers of tomorrow” who are children today with “massive overdoses of violence.” Why is this man on TV?

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  • kat

    Dr. Phil is presuming the killer was an American white male who played video games as a child. If Dr. Phil had an iota of sense, he’d by now have figured out the killer is not a white male, cause if he were the media would be constantly reminding us of that. He is likely not even an American. Otherwise, we’d know his identity. Some student will post the killer’s name on net before we hear it from the MSM.

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  • http://www.searchviews.com Kate Zimmermann

    It’s amazing how transparent the development of the story was from social to mainstream media. You can see journalists from NBC, NPR, etc, using blog comments and facebook forums to try to find eyewitnesses:

    http://searchviews.com/archives/2007/04/virginia_tech_shootings.php

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  • http://www.ayerd.com Dan J.

    video games… riiiiiight.

    I really hope one day some shooting rage psych blames over-hyped media coverage and “documentaries” on shooting as the reason s/he flipped out. I’d by more than generic video games.

    That being said, maybe Id and Valve should start adding warnings before game starts: Do not attempt.

    Although, since that doesn’t work for MTv’s Jackass, I doubt it would work for Doom….

  • http://none alan macleese

    Here’s possible unexplored angle on Virginia Tech story:
    Shooter comes from drycleaning family. Did shooter ever work in family biz? If so, he would have been exposed to perchloroethylene or perc, the dominant chemical solvent used by cleaners?
    Shooter conceivably could have developed some or all of the mental disorders triggered by extensive exposure. Google sources say perc is like alcohol in its effects and damage caused by exposure can persist into later life — neither worsening nor improving.
    Google sources further avers people get hooked on perc and wind up madder than a hatter.
    Have seen no mention of this longshot in any of the streams, so . ….

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  • http://www.ifonlyihadit.com Aaron

    Dr. Phil is presuming the killer was an American white male who played video games as a child. If Dr. Phil had an iota of sense, he’d by now have figured out the killer is not a white male, cause if he were the media would be constantly reminding us of that. He is likely not even an American. Otherwise, we’d know his identity. Some student will post the killer’s name on net before we hear it from the MSM.