Since CNN embraced the citizen journalist movement back in August 2006 with the launch of its iReport initiative, the news organization has received nearly 100,000 news-related photos and videos from viewers, including nearly 10,000 this past January alone. Yet less than 10 percent of those submissions have appeared on CNN.com or the cable channel.
That’s all about to change. Time Warner’s CNN this week will enter YouTube territory with the launch of iReport.com, a new Web site built entirely on user-produced news. And unlike CNN’s own properties — where only iReport submissions that have been handpicked by editors and checked for accuracy ever make it online or on air — the new site will be wide open, allowing users to post whatever content they choose, CNN told Mediaweek exclusively.
The new site looks and feels much like YouTube and other video-centric destinations. Wanna-be Anderson Coopers can upload videos, photos and audio files through an easy-to-use interface. Visitors to the site can search for specific clips or sift through various news categories, such as politics or weather. Users also can rate and share clips, and even embed them on personal Web sites.