CNN Worldwide has announced the beta launch of iReport.com, its first uncensored, unfiltered, unedited, user-generated community Web site. Scheduled for a full-scale launch in March, iReport.com provides users with an open forum and a set of tools and applications to upload, share and discuss news with each other.
Currently available at http://beta.ireport.com, iReport.com is a natural progression of the network’s extremely successful iReport initiative, which has generated nearly 100,000 video, photo and text submissions to CNN.com since the initiative’s launch 18 months ago. Many iReports received – such as critical cell phone video from the Virginia Tech shootings, images of the bridge collapse in Minneapolis, Minn., and eyewitness accounts of severe weather and political protests around the world – provided an added dimension to CNN’s reports each day and for Headline News’ News to Me, the first user-generated television program on cable news.
After undergoing an extensive vetting process, only 10 percent of the iReports received by CNN have appeared on-air or CNN.com; but on iReport.com all submissions will be instantly available. iReport.com contributors also may gain recognition by having the material they submit to the site – once vetted and approved for use – appear on a CNN network or CNN.com.
“CNN is tremendously excited to launch this new global community site, a destination for all iReports and iReporters,” said Susan Grant, executive vice president of CNN News Services. “We are thrilled to now have a platform where all iReport submissions are available for anyone and everyone who wants to view them.”
Any visitor to iReport.com can view all content on the site without registering, or they can create their own profile pages; submit audio, photos, video and text; and connect with other iReporters who have shared interests, in ways similar to other social networking sites. The site provides users with simple tools for connecting iReport.com with the broader world of social media already happening on sites such as Facebook, Digg, del.icio.us, reddit and StumbleUpon. Registered members on iReport.com can become “Superstar iReporters,” the top 20 percent of the site’s members each week, determined by a tally of members’ contributions, ratings, popularity and site activity.
Following the model of most other user-generated content sites, iReport.com has established Community Guidelines and will not censor or screen the site’s content. As long as a submission adheres to the guidelines, it will appear on iReport.com. Beyond that, the site’s users determine the content of iReport.com and can flag material for review by an independent, third-party moderator.