iReport turns 5: Citizen journalism ‘at the core’ of CNN’s coverage of big news

CNN’s iReport system for citizen journalism turns 5 years old Tuesday. The director, Lila King, talked to Beet.TV about how the project has changed CNN and evolved over the years. She says citizen reporters’ contributions are now “at the core of the way we [CNN] tell most big breaking news stories.” More than 800,000 people from every country have contributed reports, King said. The thing they have in common is that “they feel deeply connected to the stories that they share, in a way that maybe traditional journalists might not,” King said. “There’s an enormous amount of subjectivity on iReport, and people who approach stories with a lot of passion and personal experience because they’re living right in the middle of them.” Editors at CNN have learned to become curators in addition to newsgatherers, she said, as they work with iReporters to cover “stories where we don’t have cameras in places where you need cameras.”

Related: Royal Wedding ticket the latest benchmark of citizen journalism’s ascendancy at CNN (; How CNN’s iReport enhanced the network’s coverage of the Japan earthquake and its aftermath (Nieman Journalism Lab)

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  • Dan Mitchell

    Yes, and we all know how expensive cameras are. Not to mention reporters.