When 30,000 people show up in a small Southern town to protest a racially tinged prosecution, the mainstream media take notice. But for months beforehand, the story of the “Jena Six” was largely spread over our beloved Internets, as NPR details in an excellent online addendum to today’s Morning Edition story on the rallies (NPR’s coverage of the situation in Jena, Louisiana has consistently been good). A loose network of black bloggers raised both awareness AND over $100,000 in donations, while others spread the word through social networking sites:
Many of those posting comments said they first learned of the Jena Six on the Internet. “I am so disappointed with the media right now. I live in Connecticut and I never even heard of this. Honestly if it wasn’t for Facebook, I still wouldn’t know,” wrote Jennifer Hightower.
Yet another example of citizens using the new tools of online communications and social media to organize for political action and to push a story out in front of a mass audience. Groovy.