#march26

29 Mar

Mojos used Twitter to report on the March 26 protests

Saturday 26 March saw a fresh wave of protests through the UK as swarms of people hit the county’s cities in order to fight against the cuts. The event once again provided mobile journalists with the opportunity to report from the ‘front line’, using the #march26 hash tag on Twitter in order to keep followers up to date with the latest developments as the protesters swarmed through the capital.

Anyone following #march26 was able to see exactly where the protesters were, what they were doing and what action was being taken against them by the authorities. Not only does this sort of mobile journalism provide the outside world with a unique insight into the protests, without actually having to be there, it enables a number of journalists to voice their opinions on the events of the day, something which is not usually possible when writing an article for a publication.

Reporting through Twitter sees a new generation of would-be mobile journalists commenting and reporting on breaking news events and, in this particular case, it was the siege on high-end department store Fortnum & Mason that drew the most attention.

As protesters forced their way into the famous Fortnums, both journalists and participants tweeted to the outside world, while following the tweets of those caught up in the violence taking place beyond the gilded walls of the UK Uncut Fortnums protest.

Protesters and passersby posted photos online, showing the utter chaos that many of the protests had descended into. News that the Oxford Circus Topshop was being vandalised by a particularly furious group of protesters sparked debate on Twitter between those who felt such extreme action was necessary and those who believed that the violence overshadowed the real issue behind the protests.

#Ritz & #TopShop and #OxfordCircus all got raided by the #march26 protest which, I proudly can say, was in.

Really now, how is smashing TopShop and other shop windows going to help? #march26

Police wait for protesters outside Topshop. Image taken with the Instagram app for iPhone. Photo courtesy of Poppy Wyeth

The Guardian obtained video footage from a Green & Black Cross legal observer who recorded the police telling protesters that they would be allowed to leave the store, before capturing footage of the them being kettled just outside the entrance to the shop and then arrested.

The video, shot with a handheld camcorder, gives a unique insight into the protests and the way in which the police handled them.

You can view the video at;

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/video/2011/mar/28/fortnum-mason-protesters-uk-uncut-video?CMP=twt_gu%20

Essentially, the use of a cameraphone, Twitter, a camcorder or even Facebook can turn anyone from an impartial spectator to a mobile journalist. Photos from passersby are often just as effective in terms of illustrating a news story and newspapers have seized upon the opportunity to use photos, video footage and tweets about events in order to add a more realistic and personal touch to their stories.

With more protests set to take place over the coming months, we here at The Moving Media suggest that you keep your cameraphones/dictaphones/camcorders at the ready. You never know when the next breaking news story might hit.

Advertisements

One Response to “#march26”

  1. Bemsy March 31, 2011 at 8:42 pm #

    I was there with Poppy and it was quite terrifying but also kind of exciting. I didn’t like the fact that I didn’t really feel safe in my home city but I thought the police did a pretty good job. Seems strange that there weren’t police already at Topshop on the day of the protest considering the flagship store has been targeted in the recent past.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: