For all its tragic devastation last year’s earthquake in Haiti may have had one silver lining, according to a new report from the non-profit Knight Foundation: the ushering in of “a new culture in disaster relief”, employing Web 2.0 technologies to speed response and mitigation.
“Every modern disaster has required modes of communication, but in Haiti, the importance of the media rose to a new level,” the report, Media, Information Systems and Communities: “Lessons from HAITI”, explained.
“Haiti,” the report added, “became the first real-world crisis laboratory for several media platforms that had only recently emerged. These were applied to support rescue efforts, assist displaced populations and coordinate massive relief operations. The Haitian earthquake marked the first large-scale application of new approaches to create dialogue between citizens and relief workers, such as crowd-sourcing and projects that combined the reach of cell phones and radio technology.”