Fears Grow over Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

“Fears grow over oil spill disaster” (Video via youtube.com)

Is this the understatement of the year: “These guys [BP] don’t have a great record in taking care of people’s health and safety.” This comment, made by Greenpeace’s Mark Floegel about BP’s insistence that shrimpers, fishermen, etc. who wish to assist in the clean up effort must first sign a BP indemnification waiver. (Note, this quotation comes at about 2:20 in the video.)

Google is leveraging its multimodal muscle via the Crisis Response pageto help cover the oil spill, aggregating timely content and publishing updated Google Earth layers to help visualize the scope, evolution and impact of the spill.

“Google is taking a major (though low-profile) step into the realm of crowd sourcing news. Users can upload their videos of the spill or news related to the Gulf oil spill, and the videos are published to a YouTube playlist, making a video record of the disaster and what is being done on the ground to stop it.” (Mother Nature Network)

Perhaps this is the silver lining? Citizens around the world are quickly learning to contribute to the story, create history as it’s made, participate in the global dialogue that until recently was interpreted and disseminated by a few. Citizen journalism is open journalism! This shift is exciting and inspiring. The democratization of information, of news, of history. Can open government be far behind?!?!

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