Past The Press Box

Citizen journalism on display after Kiffin firing. Class? Not so much

We've seen citizen journalism succeeding and providing unprecedented coverage in chaotic situations before, be it the Iranian hostage crisis or the 2008 earthquake in China. When looking at these incidents, and the most recent tragedy in Haiti, our problems seem a bit smaller in comparison. Yeah, some people tend to overreact.

The reaction coming out of the University of Tennessee after Lane Kiffin split for USC was just a bit ridiculous. It was chaos, and Tennessee basketball player Renaldo Woolridge was one of the citizen journalists covering it.

One excerpt:

There's more. Deadspin has most of the story but a majority of the content has been circulating other places as well. Varying accounts and ccompanying videos have been popping up everywhere.

One example:

According to the individual who wrote into Deadspin, this video is of students racing to the parking lot where Kiffin's car was supposedly parked, they didn't quite make it before he got there. I'll be honest, I find these and other videos downright hilarious. Whether you find them particularly funny or sickening, it's tough to deny that they do a great job of portraying the emotion involved. Citizen journalism can do that. It has the ability to give an amazing, but more normal, perspective on extraordinary events. It would be wise of the school to put the students' passion for athletics and willingness to use social media to get views out there to good use. Athletes like Renaldo Woolridge should be encouraged to share photos and videos from life as a D 1 athlete. Students should share content from times of enthusiasm that don't include using four letter words to describe their former football coach.

Citizen journalism, and the social media used to get it out there, has the ability for good but when things get out of control it'll be there to shed light on that too.

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The American Sportswriter_