Saturday 13 August 2011

UK Riots: Guardian's Paul Lewis on how he used Twitter to report and get feedback on the riots

Paul Lewis in the Guardian today on the way he and his colleague film-maker Mustafa Khalili used Twitter to cover the riots.

He writes: "The first portal for communicating what we saw was Twitter. It enabled us to deliver real-time reports from the scene, but more importantly enabled other users of Twitter to provide constant feedback and directions to troublespots. While journalists covering previous riots would chase ambulances to find the frontline, we followed what people on social media told us. By the end of the week, I had accumulated 35,000 new Twitter followers."

Lewis said at one point: "Three teenagers cycling past stopped to look at the blood-splattered pavement. One looked at me and said: 'Bruv, you the man from Twitter?' He said he had been following updates from journalists about the riots, and told us to head to Edmonton Green, where there was a plan to attack shops at midnight."

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