Where Were you on September 11, 2001?
I was starting my first day of journalism school in Prince Edward Island, Canada. Or at least I would have been, if I wasn't sleeping in. Our class was spending the day touring our local newspaper - which I had been volunteering and working for since I was a paper carrier, so I didn't bother going.
I remember my father coming into my room and waking me up with - 'Get up, a plane hit the world trade center.' Envisioning a small propeller plane hitting a building, I ignored him and tried to go back to sleep. 'No, get up, you have to see this.'
He was right. I spent the next 12 hours glued to my computer and television. While I was sitting in internet chat rooms, interviewing and talking with people living in NYC, finding people who were taking pictures out their window, etc., my class was watching the news on a tiny black and white tv at the newspaper office.
I ended up interviewing numerous people and getting original photos, but two things struck me the most. The first was watching the towers fall, live on television. I remember thinking 'I just watched thousands of people die'. It was a surreal moment.
The other came to me later, when I realized just how powerful online journalism could be. Our local journalists were out of their depth, scrambling to find any wire stories or Canadians living in NYC. All I had to do was log into a chat room and start calling people. It was supposed to be my first day of journalism school, but I ended up learning much more about the new age of media and 'crowd-powered news'.
Where were you on 9/11?