Citizen Journalists Break Toronto Explosion Story

I got home from my run today to see a Twitter message from Jeremiah Owyang about an explosion and subsequent large-scale evacuation in Toronto’s north end.

Yes, through the wonderful power of the web, the news traveled down to San Francisco and back up to me. A tremendous demonstration of the power of online communications, and of Twitter in general. However, it’s an equally powerful demonstration of the ability of citizen journalists to break news.

Rannie Turingan, aka photojunkie, captured the scene in both video and photo after the first explosion woke him at around 4am.

One of his photos made it on to the LA Times blog today. Owyang says Rannie had his coverage up before the press coverage started.

Skip to around 1:50 into this next video to see a spectacular explosion…

…and a close-up (language not safe for work):

The Toronto Star, National Post (which pretty much compiled this post completely through citizen journalists), Dose and other publications are all linking to amateur coverage of this event.

You can check out other photos on Flickr and other videos on Youtube.

(Photo credit:

3 Responses toCitizen Journalists Break Toronto Explosion Story

  • Citizen journalism is so incredibly important. And maybe not specifically the ‘journalism’ side of it, but the reporting and passing it on really.

    In the last few weeks alone Twitter was the first place I read about about the quake in california, the bombings in Georgia, the beheading in Manitoba, the death of Bernie Mac and now this.

    My fiance wants an account now because I always seem to know everything before he does 😉


  • Wow that second video is frightening!

Trackbacks & Pings

  • Tracking the Toronto Explosion on Twitter: Opportunities and Risks :

    […] Above Video (Language, Scary): This YouTube Video (already seen 59,000 times) has some cursing, so be careful when playing at work. The reaction and shaky scene isn’t out of the next Cloverfield movie, but it has the same scary intensity of first person recordings. In the past, news teams would have to interview these witnesses, now we see for ourselves through their eyes. There’s no way a journalist could truly report the shockwave and people’s reaction, if pictures tell a thousand words, what do videos tell? (video found on Dave Fleet’s site) […]

    12 years ago