Live from the Favela

Via the BBC:

For the past few days, Brazilians watched transfixed as scenes more reminiscent of Iraq or Afghanistan than of their own “marvellous city”, Rio de Janeiro, unfolded live on TV screens…

…In the studios, a succession of security experts, sociologists, lawyers and anthropologists have helped presenters fill the time and interpret what was going on in the “morros” (hills), as the steeply sloping favelas are known…

…But those who turned to Twitter did not have to wonder.

A remarkable, improvised real-time news service was being beamed out of the favela, and gathered followers exponentially in a classic “viral” explosion of interest.

The user @vozdacomunidade, or Voice of the Community, started sending tweets out at lunchtime on Saturday describing minute-by-minute the bursts of gunfire, explosions and helicopters flying overhead. By Sunday evening more than 20,000 followers had signed up.

What makes this community micro-blog all the more extraordinary is that none of its “reporters” is over the age of 17.

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