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CNN Launches iReport News Hub February 17, 2008

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Convergence, Journalism, News, Trends, Web Video, YouTube.
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CNN’s public journalism initiative, “beta” iReport is inviting anyone to send in photos, video, stories and more, creating instantly one of the biggest sites online for “unfiltered, uncensored user-powered news.”

Youtubish and video-centric, the site includes standard user-generated features, such as rating contributions, search by subject or submitter, sort by most popular. Anyone from around the globe can contribute pictures and video of breaking news stories from their towns and neighborhood.

Unlike iReports on CNN.com which are vetted by CNN, the iReport portal is unmoderated and stories appear on the site the moment they’re uploaded. CNN makes no guarantees about the content or the coverage.

The site isn’t co-branded with CNN yet in a clear effort to seperate the CNN brand from the unmoderated content on iReport.com. The majority of iReports are on this site — about 90,000 — while CNN has only used about 900 of those on air or on CNN.com

CNN has been experimenting with citizen journalism since 2007. One event in particular catapulted such citizen journalism onto the international stage. On April 16, 2007, video submitted by graduate student Jamal Albarghouti captured the sounds of gunfire during the Virginia Tech massacre.

CNN paid Albarghouti an undisclosed amount for the exclusive rights to the video he shot on his Nokia N70. The immediacy of the pictures demonstrated the potential for such content.

So is citizen journalism inevitable? Is this another step by MSM and its archaic practice of editing to embrace new ways? Only time will tell whether this experiment will end up being a popular entertainment portal or a valuable news source.

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