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iReport, You Decide (if This Crap is Worth Your Time)
Will anything really come of CNN's citizen journalism project?

We hate to divest from our usual cynical selves, but CNN’s experiment with citizen journalism might actually prove to be a success. A success insomuch as generating press equals greatness.

Since its creation 18 months ago, CNN’s iReporter initiative, which asked mere civilians to submit their own news videos, has clocked more than 100,000 user-submitted clips. Only problem: Ninety percent of them were useless, because they didn’t fit in with CNN’s daily reportage cycle, so they were never shown.

Cut to – we love “cut to” – CNN paying $750,000 for the domain name and launching a full-fledged web version of the project, where no clip is too useless to be shown. The Time Warner network’s goal, of course, is to create the YouTube of citizen news video, building a community (dare we say, a social network) around the fascination with regular people covering, and capturing, the news; nevermind that the content producers aren’t being compensated in any way.

But is CNN’s ambitious new platform going to be a pioneer for outstanding citizen journalism? Or the dumping ground for garbage that YouTube mostly is?

Well, let’s just say that a good share of these “citizen reports” are, um, press releases in disguise. Then again, YouTube is the home of gang rape videos, so maybe CNN is ahead.

Mar 4, 2008 · Link · Respond
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