CNN citizen journalism one year on23 August 2007
Twelve months and more than 50,000 submissions later, CNN’s user-generated content service, i-Report, has garnered submissions from 189 countries and territories around the world, covering a range of themes from compelling to light-hearted stories via both the tragic and the amazing. Launched in August 2006, CNN’s i-Reports developed traction within the first few months, as audiences on-air and online found a new way to share their own observations of news and events around the world with CNN.
“With i-Report, CNN tapped into the needs and desires of its audience to express a deeper connection to the news they get from our networks and services every day,” said Susan M. Bunda, executive vice president of content development and strategy for CNN Worldwide. “Our i-Reporters have exceeded our expectations with regard to the sheer number and quality of submissions.”
Within a month of launching, hundreds of CNN viewers submitted i-Reports in response to the death of Steve Irwin in September 2006. Later that month, when a coup in Thailand attempted to halt the flow of information with the shutdown of the national media, i-Reports on CNN helped ensure that photographs and text reached the rest of the world.
The defining moment for CNN’s i-Report came the day of the Virginia Tech shooting tragedy in April, however,when graduate student Jamal Albarghouti captured dramatic video coverage of the events on his mobile phone. CNN received about 420 submissions within 24 hours of the incident and more than 600 in total.
More recently, users shared their video, images and thoughts about the earthquake in Peru, the plane crash in Sao Paolo, Brazil and the bridge collapse in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Not only has CNN.com taken full advantage of i-Reports, but networks and services across CNN Worldwide employ the submissions on a regular basis. CNN International and CNN en Espa_ol made extensive use of user-generated materials for coverage of recent protests in Venezuela.