Wednesday, July 30, 2008

U.S. Congressman Becomes a Citizen Reporter

Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) is among Capitol Hill's most savvy YouTube users. He's already uploaded nearly thirty videos to his YouTube channel, and recently served a brief stint as a citizen reporter for Why Tuesday.

Last week, Rep. Israel along with a congressional delegation traveled to New Orleans and the Gulf Coast to see what life was life for the survivors of Hurricane Katrina three years later. In his video blog of the trip (see below), Rep. Israel speaks with survivors, including one family still living in a FEMA-provided trailer, and offers his personal observations about this national tragedy. He reserves his harshest words for the insurance companies, many of whom he believes used every loop-pole they could find to avoid helping Gulf Coast residents in their most dire hour of need.

He shot all of this footage himself. That's right, a congressman acting as a citizen journalist. This is the world we live in.

Rep. Israel hopes to shine a light not only on the present plight of Katrina survivors, but on the need for other cities (including his own district of Long Island) to prepare in the event of a similar catastrophe—and ensure that what happened three years ago never happens again.


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