CNN iReport: Paving the future for live reporting?

17 Sep

Being a native of New York City, I immediately gravitated towards the CNN article entitled “Bushwick New York at the Tornado.” Having heard of the devastation that the storm incurred I was expecting a massive captioned photo gallery, but I wasn’t expecting the pop up that immediately showed up on my screen:

“Welcome to iReport, where people take part in the news with CNN. Your voice, together with other iReporters, helps shape how and what CNN covers everyday.

So you know: iReport is the way people like you report the news. The stories in this section are not edited, fact-checked or screened before they post. Only ones marked ‘CNN iReport’ have been vetted by CNN.”

I immediately thought of the Chapter in Journalism Next in which Mark Briggs discusses “Pro-Am Journalism,” a movement in which a news organization invites anyone to contribute photos and video content. This gallery of Bushwick’s devastation is a prime example of such journalism: this gallery, posted by an anonymous user from Brooklyn, New York, provides photo content that was most likely sent to CNN sooner than any correspondent could access it.

This photo really struck me– the devastation is unlike anything I have ever seen in Brooklyn after a storm.

The galleries edited by CNN had a small red “i” in the far right corner, while the other storm galleries were labeled as “not vetted by CNN.” I found this to be cool, as it turned into somewhat of a forum for people to share who are all going through the same experience to share thoughts, photos and footage.

This photo was taken just a few blocks from my apartment in Park Slope, Brooklyn. It was a pretty unreal experience to see such close coverage of this event that I had just finished speaking with my family about. I am going to encourage my brothers to upload some of the photos that they took to the website.

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