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Business - Written by on Monday, February 11, 2008 18:16 - 7 Comments

iReport, you report, we all report on iReport(.com)

Starting later this week, you will be able to not only hear all about Britney from CNN, but you will also be able to report back on the station’s favourite sweetheart using the Network’s new site iReport.com. CNN is set to take Internet news to the next level with this launch that will feature entirely user-generated and reported stories from around the world. Visitors will be able to search indexed clips based on keywords such as location and subject matter and according to CNN, “The community will decide what the news is”, with the only monitoring to be for “objectionable content”. This will mark the migration of the iReport news content from the CNN site and on to its own platform. (The domain name “iReport.com” was earlier purchased for a tidy sum of $750,000, with the name “i-report.com” being thrown in for free)

While CNN has left a very open window to reserve the right to judge what can be proclaimed “objectionable”, this will mark a big step into not only community produced, but more importantly community moderated news. If the Wikipedia model of community self-regulation can transfer for iReport.com, the new site will have tremendous potential for developing the way the world views its news.

Since launching their iReport feature in August of 2006, CNN has received nearly 100,000 news photos and videos, with over 10,000 trickling in over the past month alone. Typically less than 10% of submissions have been featured in on-air broadcasts or on cnn.com, but with iReport.com, this could reach nearly 100%.

According to CNN, nothing will be encouraged or discouraged and “iReport will be completely unvetted”, but the site will make it clear that content does not reflect CNN’s editorial views.

Stay tuned, and for anyone interested, I’ll consider taking bets on how many minutes iReport will remain “unvetted” – I’ve got one and a half.


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Feb 11, 2008 22:10

It’ll be interesting to see whether this catches on. The citizen journalism concept was started in large part because of news sources such as CNN that were seen as biased and lacking credibility and non-US perspectives, so whether opening up will attract people is, in my mind, a heck of a stretch.

The real successful sites in this space (AgoraVox, OhmyNews.com) are completely independent of any large media network, and are successful for that very reason.

Feb 12, 2008 6:51

Put me down for moderation at 60 seconds.

It will be really interesting to see whether self-vetting, or self-promotion ends up becoming the motivating force behind iReport.

The only thing that I can see an a personal downside is that I prefer to see User Generated Content equal and alongside traditional journalism, to give me the best of both worlds, rather than forcing me to choose one or the other.

Ian Da Silva
Feb 12, 2008 18:17

Thanks for the comments DH and BadgerGravling – each brings up important considerations.

DH, where I really see iReport making inroads is primarily in the US where sites like AgoraVox and OhmyNews are not yet well-established. It will be interesting to note whether iReport will simply attract current CNN readers or whether this will open up to a broader audience. My hunch is that iReport will build critical mass with current CNN readers, who will not be weary of the formal news organization association, and may in fact embrace it. This group will just be looking to get involved and iReport can become “their” platform.

Badger, I think this will serve as a blend of traditional and user generated news, where CNN is going to try and capture both markets and the “best” of both worlds. I am very keen to see how critical and contentious issues will be treated on iReport, particularly if/when challenging the official stance of CNN. From CNN’s viewpoint, it seems they may be afraid to miss out on the user-generated market, but they are also afraid of what opening the floodgates on their own site may bring.

Of interest as well is wikimedia’s wikinews.org, through which users can request to be interviewed as well as contact the wikinews hotline via telephone for breaking news stories.

Ian Da Silva
Feb 13, 2008 12:23

Now that iReport has gone live, I must say that I am surprised with the approach CNN has taken and I feel it may be the wrong way to attract (new) readers. Instead of taking an arm’s-length approach, with CNN’s presence being minimized, they have the brand all over the site and the “top videos” are branded with “on CNN”.

This makes the site appear more as a vehicle for trying out and competing for a television spot than a news site.

iReport really seems to be something that will be viewed with CNN.com, and by established CNN.com readers, rather than by a new audience, which makes me question whether this will be a worthwhile investment for CNN, or a misguided attempt in to news 2.0.

Feb 16, 2008 14:53

Great topic. Ironically, a group of iReporters are starting to band together against movements to exploit true citizen journalism at http://www.ireporter.tv

Ira Newlander
Apr 1, 2008 13:12

i-report.com is cute if you’re going solo, but it’s We The People, no? Anyhow, you decide.

shacara hinsey
Jun 26, 2009 9:49

micheal jackson was my hero,i miss him so much

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