- I was first alerted to the riots last Saturday afternoon, August 6th around 4:30pm ET, in the form of a Sky News tweet:
Even prior to the riots, there was news that unrest was bubbling up. Police had been aggressively patting down youths, most of them black, in areas of London that had seen hard economic times and even harder recently with the unemployment rate for those under 26 hovering around 20%
- Additional reports streamed in, Tottenham seemed to be the origin of the riots.
I decided to contact Jonathan Haynes, web news editor at the Guardian and Dave Wyllie, independent journalist in the UK, to understand more about a particular shooting that took place, which from reading recent articles in Tottenham seemed to point to a spark for demonstrations.
- I looked for some history of riots and found this wasn't the first time for Tottenham.
- Anjali Mullany of the New York Daily News was one of the first people I noticed aggregating reports from afar on Twitter and she was doing quite a good job at it, asking the right questions and trying to filter the the truth from the rumors. Doing the job of a journalist with Twitter as the conduit.
- Reporters began to head to the scene and report from there directly to Twitter.
- This bus fire became the photo of the day for many covering the riots, we watched as the images streamed in on Twitter and on the feeds we could access to British television. American coverage was poor and very inconsistent, so being able to find and use online streams was essential to keep on top of up-to-the-minute events.