Citizen journalists take spotlight covering extreme weather, Moore tornado

By Bridgit Bowden
This YouTube video of the May 20 Moore, Okla.,
tornado was captured from a car.  
From the Joplin, Mo., tornado to the Occupy movement to the Boston bombings, we've all learned how powerful citizen journalism can be.  Social media and smartphones have made it easy for people outside of the news business to share information, pictures and video on a wide scale.  Citizen journalists often get news out before professional news organizations can.

Extreme weather is one of citizen journalism's opportunities to shine.  Last week's tornado in Moore, Okla., is a perfect example.  According to the New York Times, when rescuers were searching through rubble for trapped people at the destroyed Plaza Towers Elementary School, they "begged everyone to be quiet — helicopters, trucks, ambulances — so they could hear even the faintest cry." Many of the first images and video we saw were pulled from social media.

Why journalism students should attend the 2013 Online News Association Conference

By Andrew Gibson
Nate Silver, who blogs about political statistics
for The New York Times, is the keynote speaker
at ONA13
No matter whether you're studying newspaper, magazine, TV or radio news, you have two things in common with your journalism peers. You want a job, and that job will involve some kind of online work.

Attending the 2013 Online News Association Conference is an opportunity to address both concerns. You'll hang out with employers and notable names from across the industry and learn the digital skills necessary to keep up with the rapidly evolving field.

Registration is open for ONA13, scheduled for Oct. 17-19 in Atlanta. Although students get a discounted rate, we probably still have some persuading to do. That's why we've written four reasons why journalism students should attend ONA13.

Meet the new ONA Mizzou student leaders

President: Andrew Gibson

Andrew Gibson is a senior majoring in convergence journalism and minoring in information technology and business. He has experience with video, audio and print, but his passion is for online journalism. Analytics make him happy, but HTML makes him drool.

Born and raised in Denver, Andrew has interned at KCNC-TV in Denver and The Colorado Springs Gazette in Colorado Springs, Colo. He will work as the online intern at the Orlando Sentinel during summer 2013.

Outside of journalism, Andrew enjoys Denver Broncos football and is always hunting for the perfect latte.

Follow Andrew Gibson on Twitter