So, tomorrow it will have been 10 years since the catastrophic 9/11 and as expected the media have charged head-on into broadcasting their own unique commemoration. However, what has proved most intriguing about this competition for coverage is the new interactive ways in which we now consume our media.

I remember the bombardment of coverage nine years ago (during the one year anniversary) which consisted of an assortment of video montages, 9/11 based song compositions, books dedicated to the catastrophe and a constant loop of George Bush’s motivational ramblings on radio and television.

Now, fast forward to the present day and I notice a similar pattern emerging (of course, without the ‘inspirational’ words from Bush). It is quite difficult (if not impossible) to find a television or radio station who are not running a 9/11 based program.

Looking back on 9/11 through social media

This is not surprising, however if you really delve into this coverage you will notice a unique difference-we are now far more interactive than we were nine years ago. Social networking and interactivity have exploded onto the scene faster than most of us are aware, and the following examples are excellent proof of this:

• YouTube teams up with the New York Times – A channel has now been set up on YouTube which is asking people to submit their memories of September 11.

• The Guardian asks the world to share their 9/11 memories- This crowd sourced attempt is aiming to create a unique record of the moment through their interactive blog.

• American Express launches 9/11 volunteers Facebook app – Facebook isn’t being neglected either as TNW reports: “The new app offers Facebook users a searchable 9/11 Day database, and facilities sign ups for local volunteer opportunities. Once users have signed up, they can share their activities with their friends on Facebook, encouraging further participation.”

• 9 11 Day campaign on Facebook – Over 221,000 people have already joined this movement on Facebook.

These are only a few examples, with many more campaigns and projects circling the web. Whether you see this bombardment of coverage as a profit-driven ploy by large media organisations is a topic better left undiscussed. However, for PR professionals it is interesting to note the degree to which interactivity and social media has taken over the media landscape.

Sam Kilborn