Multimedia and social media coverage of the Haiti earthquake

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The recent earthquake in Haiti has brought untold devastation and destruction to an already impoverished country. I have been highly impressed with the use of multimedia and social media to spread awareness about this natural disaster. People’s efforts to make Haiti’s crisis an international crisis by utilizing numerous technologies has enabled them to act quickly and efficiently.

According to Yahoo Finance, twitter has played a major role in both delivering news and collecting donations. CNN has already compiled a list of 66 organizations tweeting about news regarding this crisis that users can easily follow to get comprehensive news in one location.

Furthermore, according to one of the American Red Cross’ tweets, they have already raised more than $800,000 (as of 5pm EST) via text donations where cell phone users can text #90999 to donate $10, which will then be included in their next cell phone bill. Mashable also helped spread the word about ways to help by listing numerous aid organizations and online donation methods.

In terms of news organizations, The New York Times quickly published a photo slide show depicting the aftermath. Their interactive feature allows users to zoom in on four destruction images to more closely examine the extent of the damage. I particularly like the fourth image where you can view the before and after images of The National Palace, which was clearly hit hard.

LA Times is featuring an “interactive earthquake primer,” which gives an impressive amount of information about earthquakes, including the location of fault lines, the types of faults, and differences between earthquake waves. I’m not sure whether or not this interactive was produced in response to the Haiti earthquake or if this is a package that is reused after an earthquake occurs. Regardless, it serves as a great visual for those trying to better understand the technicalities of an earthquake.

Below is a video that was posted on YouTube by Oxfam depicting the situation and appealing for donations. I hope that everyone who is financially able to donate money considers doing so, as it is evident that these organizations need all of the help they can get. Otherwise, everyone is able to help spread the word using multimedia and social media to educate others about the Haitian disaster, so please do so!

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