How four people turned an unwitting witness to bin Laden's death into a citizen journalist

Poynter.org

In 24 hours, Pakistani programmer Sohaib Athar went from someone who jokes with his 750 or so followers on Twitter to someone who broadcasts his thoughts to more than 86,000 followers. "How did he become so influential so quickly? How does anyone?" writes Steve Myers. He explains:

In this case, there are four key players. Two of them are a couple: a journalist who lives in New York and a social media specialist who lives in London. The other two have roots in Pakistan: a journalist and documentary filmmaker who recently moved to the U.S. and a political commentator in Islamabad.

Each of them contributed to a chain of information that turned one man’s offhand comments about a helicopter in the middle of the night into an internationally known work of citizen journalism.

Read Myers' piece

  • Jim Romenesko

    From 1999 to 2011, Jim Romenesko maintained the Romenesko page for the Poynter Institute, a Florida-based non-profit school for journalists. Poynter hired him in August of 1999, after seeing his MediaGossip.com, a hobby site he started in May of 1999.

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