Two Years In, CNN’s iReport Takes Off

By Chris Ariens 

With 175,000 videos and photos received so far and a 176% rise in submissions since the same time last year, CNN is gratified with the success of their citizen journalism effort, iReport. iReport, along with FNC’s UReport and MSNBC’s First Person, gives viewers a chance to be first-hand reporters, whether covering the news or posing questions to newsmakers. Lighter, cheaper cameras and an increasingly wired world make possible what was usually left to professional journalists. And the reports give the networks and their Websites content they might not otherwise have.

Now entering its third year, the watershed moment for iReport was in April 2007, when Virginia Tech grad student Jamal Albarghouti captured video of the campus shootings on his cell phone. “Sometimes the iReports we receive are first images of breaking news and often exhibit powerful points of view on issues or news events,” says EVP of news services Susan Grant, in a press release. “But every day our iReporters show an enthusiasm for and pride in the community they have created.”

CNN is so committed to the platform it paid $750,000 for the iReport domain name earlier this year. More than 85,000 people have registered as “iReporters.” According to Nielsen the site draws 2.3 million unique visitors a month.