Citizen journalism was on full display during the G20 protests and riots in Toronto. DigitalJournal.com's Andrew Moran and KJ Mullins published exemplary articles, photos and video reports on the ground during the chaos swarming the city.
Leaders from around the world met in Toronto this past weekend for the G8 and G20 summits. While news about financial agreements slowly trickled out, media outlets quickly spilled headline ink over massive violent protests.
The Canadian government spent more than $1 billion on security for the summit, encircling a large part of Toronto's downtown core in a massive steel fence designed to keep protesters out and placing police officers from many different forces around the city. Businesses near the protest zones boarded up windows or closed this past weekend to avoid facing any possible assault.
The weekend began peacefully enough, as protests on Friday and Saturday morning rallied on Toronto streets, calling for action relating to the environment, labour policy, gender equality, economic reform and more. But on Saturday afternoon, Toronto took a turn for the worse.
Citizen journalism was on full display during the riots and clashes with police during Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. We saw it on Twitter, where those on the ground updated people directly with tweets about what's happening where; we saw it on YouTube and flickr, where videos and photos told the G20 stories directly via eyewitness accounts; we saw it in the mainstream press, where many news outlets received photos of protests, confrontations with police and vandalized buildings.
Large crowd at Queen and Spadina where the police were physically intimidating and threatening peaceful protesters.
DigitalJournal.com was also making its mark this past weekend, thanks to outstanding journalism by Andrew Moran and KJ Mullins. We would like to congratulate these two Digital Journalists for reporting on the scene during Toronto's chaotic G20 weekend.
What can we say about a Digital Journalist who files a story from an Internet cafe in the midst of protesters clashing with police? Andrew Moran published his first G20 article when Toronto began to announce its partial lockdown, providing readers with details and powerful photos.
He was also on the scene when vandals torched a police car on Queen Street, even recording stunning video of the ensuing aftermath. In fact, Moran provided us with video reports on many aspects of the G20 weekend, from mass arrests conducted at the temporary detention centre to the relatively-unknown story of a man hanging off electric wires above a music store.
Publishing 11 articles on the G20 weekend, Moran worked tirelessly to provide thorough coverage of the weekend incidents, placing himself at the heart of each story.
DigitalJournal.com congratulates Moran for honouring citizen journalism with his excellent coverage during a G20 summit Toronto (and Canada) will never forget.
Activist saluting peace to cops at Bay Street and Queen Street.
Even before Toronto invited the G20 leaders to the city, KJ Mullins was on top of every G20-related news item. We shouldn't be surprised to see Mullins' weekend reportage garnering interest on DigitalJournal.com. She was able to capture mood swings during protests, from the happy-go-lucky demonstrations to the riots heard across the world.
As she often does, Mullins spoke to locals about their reaction to monumental incidents. She interviewed Toronto residents about the protests and, like Moran, captured the aftermath of the vandalism afflicting the city with impressive photojournalism.
Mullins also deserves kudos for reporting on the Sunday night incident at Queen and Spadina in downtown Toronto, where riot officers formed a "human box" around several dozen people for four hours in the pouring rain, later letting them all go free without any charges.
DigitalJournal.com congratulates KJ Mullins and Andrew Moran for outstanding citizen journalism during one of the most important news stories of the year.