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First pictures of earthquake damage in New Zealand

More than two hours before images started moving to us on the wires of the earthquake near Christchurch, New Zealand, we started contacting locals that were posting images to Twitter and getting their permission to run the image with the lead story of our site.

The first image we ran was a before and after, using pictures people were posting from Google streetview compared with images they were shooting and sending to Twitter of the damage to their neighborhoods in the early morning hours ( like @jbergler and the image he shot, above, which was the first NZ image to lead msnbc.com today).

Several people were tweeting that with power out, networks like Twitter were where they were getting most of their news. Two days in a row, breaking news has shown us that citizen journalism isn't just a concept anymore.