Professional storm chasers say they're often surrounded by dozens of amateurs who discuss storms on social networks, and rush to take pictures or videos that they can share on the sites. As smartphones become ubiquitous, many users are submitting content to news organizations and even taking extreme risks to do so. "You can't deny that some of the most compelling images -- whether armed conflicts, political protests or severe weather -- are coming from the people, not the pros. Smartphones and social media have just changed how people react," said Neil Katz, vice president and digital editor-in-chief for The Weather Channel.

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