Instant images via cellphones
The most intimate images of the bomb blasts in London have come from cellphones with cameras and video recorders, as technology originally...
The Washington Post
The most intimate images of the bomb blasts in London have come from cellphones with cameras and video recorders, as technology originally marketed as entertainment is bringing observers closer to the news.
The availability of the cameras, combined with the ability to transmit images and text instantaneously, is enabling the world to view news with the immediacy of a victim or spectator.
One image replayed over television and displayed on the Internet is blurry and pale green, like an ill-lit basement. It was captured by the phone of a passenger trapped along with dozens of others in London's subway following one of the series of bombings in the city during the morning commute. The door of a subway car, stopped under a tunnel at King's Cross, is pried open to give the passengers air, which is thick with cloudy smoke.
Within hours, the image made its way onto television screens and Web sites, prompting one online respondent to post the message: "watching this on the news in the U.S., praying for you all."
Amateur photographers in London captured images of darkened subway cars and other scenes on their cellphones.
Dozens of personal blog sites and news organizations' Web sites, including the BBC, The Sun and the World Picture Network, solicited pictures and video from bystanders.
It's not unlike the several home videos posted on the Web filming the first minutes of the tsunami's wash over Southeast Asia in December. The personal, visceral feel of the videos inspired well-wishers to open their checkbooks to support philanthropy in unprecedented numbers.
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