The tragic events in Mumbai last week highlighted again how susbtantially the media landscape has changed in the recent past. Literally within minutes after the beginning of the terrorist siege, twitter users, bloggers and flickr users began reporting the events as they unfolded. Established national and international news media quickly began featuring the content provided by private individuals in their own reporting. This Wired blog post has some of the most interesting examples of social media tools used to provide first-hand accounts of the events, including the already prominent flickr collection by Vinu. Gaurav Mishra has written an extremely informative and balanced account on the use and impact of social media tools during the days of the siege. He suggests that while Twitter was used heavily to send first-hand news, there was somewhat less original citizen reporting through blogs than could have been expected.
The horrific violence perpetrated against the people of Mumbai and their visitors in the attacks brought out the best in people as well: empathy and the desire to help others in the wake of terror. As pointed out by Asfaq Tapia, volunteer spirit and social media complemented each other in this situation to deliver critical information faster and more comprehensively than traditional news and rescue services could: