CNN Enlists Citizen Journalists

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CNN is launching a user-submitted–content Website called CNN Exchange on Aug. 1.

Besides aggregating the news company’s various user-generated sources of content—blogs, polls, message boards—the site will allow users to upload their video and pictures of breaking news and feature stories through a section called I-Reports.

CNN will vet all incoming video, post selected entries to the site and disseminate them across its various distribution platforms, including the CNN and Headline News cable networks, CNN.com and CNNRadio.

"What we’re doing with the Exchange, and I-Reports in particular, is creating a single vehicle, a simple branded environment in which people are going to be able to more consistently and easily participate in the news," says Mitch Gelman, senior VP/executive producer for CNN.com.

With its streamlined uploading function, CNN Exchange represents a more ambitious commitment to citizen journalism than has existed to date. Although broadcast news divisions and cable news networks have dabbled in incorporating viewer video into newscasts for the past year, none have as sophisticated a Website.

The ad-supported site, CNN.com/Exchange, will have a dedicated staff and will be promoted on CNN.

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