Where should you look to find current citizen journalism? There are many, many answers, which vary according to the type of citizen journalism that interests you at the moment.
When major news happens that affects an entire region, one good place to check is the popular free photo-sharing site Flickr. As we saw with the London bombings in July, this is one place where you can find first-person reporting -- in the form of digital photographs -- on any large-scare news event where pictures tell a lot of the story.
Here's my prediction...
Watch Flickr over the following days and weeks. In particular, watch the Flickr page for all photos bearing the "Katrina" tag. This is because Flickr allows users to apply their own labels or categories ("tags") at will to the pictures they upload. It's likely that many people uploading photos of this hurricane will tag these photos with "Katrina" among other intuitive labels (such as the more generic "hurricane").
TIP: An easy way to follow new additions to that Flickr page is to subscribe to Flickr's feed for the "Katrina" tag. (What's a feed?)
Why must we wait for those pictures, when the storm is pounding Louisiana right now? Let's think this through. During a hurricane, telecommunications usually are compromised. People are probably taking photos and video right now (and they certainly will be after the storm passes), but they might not be able to upload those pictures until later. Also, during a hurricane, people generally have very immediate, pressing needs and priorities -- like not drowning.
My hunch is that some of the most compelling visual reporting and storytelling about this hurricane will come from citizen journalists -- even though many of those people wouldn't self-apply that label. However, we'll have to wait to see much of their work. And that's OK.
When you incorporate citizen journalism into your media diet, be aware that there are tradeoffs. One common expectation that you'll have to let go of is instant gratification. Citizen journalists typically lack the equipment, resources, infrastructure, or skills of traditional news organizations. They also generally aren't getting paid, and they usually have to put their own lives and priorities first.
Therefore, if you need instant coverage, go to CNN or any of its mainstream broadcast competitors. If, however, you desire first-person coverage from people affected by the unfolding story, have some patience. Also, be prepared to create your own context and conclusions from citizen journalism provided by a crazy-quilt of sources. Good citizen journalism rarely will get served to you like a restaurant meal. You'll probably have to contribute some effort to assemble the story from the components they provide.
But let's watch Flickr this week, and see what unfolds there...