A recent New York Times newsletter contained an article, “Social Media in Tornado Alley,” in which they describe how resident posted YouTube videos and reporter Twitter feeds contributed to their coverage of the tornado devastation in Joplin, Missouri. They created a video by piecing together YouTube clips and their reporter Brian Stelter, “immediately began filing a stream of Twitter updates that provide a unique and up to the second account of what he was seeing on the ground there.”
It’s interesting to see how the Times and other “traditional” news organizations are folding social media into their portfolio. On the one hand, social media is seen as a challenge to traditional news sources, since so much information is available via the Web. But, I think we’re seeing how organizations like the Times can serve as curators of this information by collecting the most interesting/important/reliable pieces and adding expert commentary and analysis.