On Cairo

I’m currently watching the second hour of Anderson Cooper 360, live from a shadowy basement in Cairo, where it’s just after 6am and the danger hasn’t dwindled.

I pretty much lack words at the moment, but I want to acknowledge my amazement at a couple things.

One, that this didn’t become real to many people until Anderson Cooper got attacked earlier today.  As much as I admire him, a celebrity newscaster’s life is not worth more than those of the unknown journalists on the scene—nor should a reporter in danger spark more concern than an unwilling citizen stuck in a riot zone.

Two, the amazing role technology has played in this coverage.  The quality of the video from the correspondents’ Flip cams—more subtle to use in the midst of a riot—is incredible.  You can hear the sounds of glass shattering, and the colors are more vivid than most of the contents of my apartment.  Interviews are conducted via Skype in the middle of the night, allowing for the telling of compelling and elucidating personal stories without requiring dangerous transit of sources.  And of course, Twitter’s been involved from the very beginning it seems, and that’s impressive on its own.  Cooper read on-air a Tweet from the State Department, right as it was posted.

This is immediate, this is real.

And I hope it’s enough to get people interested in—and informed about—what’s going on thousands of miles away.