Blog : October 2008
When art and politics collide »

As the election draws near, people are finding creative ways to express their interest in politics. We profiled several iReporters who used Halloween as an opportunity to display their political preference. And we've seen countless music and video parodies of John McCain and Barack Obama.

 

But perhaps the most creative show of politics we've seen comes from an advanced graphic design class at Georgia State University in Atlanta. Students were given two weeks to research and depict two presidential candidates using words associated with their campaigns. They used speeches, campaign slogans, biographies and well-known quotes to portray the candidates in, literally, their own words.

 

Professor Stan Anderson was thrilled with the result of the projects. "It was a great project based on the idea that words create the man/woman," he wrote in an e-mail. He said the assignment "allowed the class to discuss topics related to their world," and taught them new things about the candidates.

 

McCain and Obama are represented, of course, but students also illustrated third-party candidates Bob Barr, Cynthia McKinney and Ralph Nader. The detailed portraits are mesmerizing and give a fresh perspective into how the candidates are portrayed by young voters.

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katie
// October 28, 2008
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Posted in: stories, stories
iReport Film Festival Winners! »

We are excited to announce the winners of the iReport Film Festival: Campaign 2008! You voted, and the winner of the CNN Audience Award is The Electoral College: Barack Obama and John McCain College Roommates . And the Grand Jury picked The 13th Amendment . Congratulations, all!    Learn more about the Festival »

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lila
// October 26, 2008
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Posted in: community
Let's play Red, Blue and Purple »

 

Feeling up for a patriotic challenge? Can you quantify your political philosophy as red, blue or purple? And can you do it in 48 hours or less?

 

We've got a fun challenge in store for you over the weekend: We want you to pick one of these three politically symbolic colors (interpret as you wish; we're looking at purple as a sort of middle ground) and take a picture or video of something that is the color you have chosen. Be sure to use a photo or video taken by you or someone you know.

 

In your video, or in the text part of your photo submission, tell us why you chose the color and how you decided what object to photograph or film. Examples could include a red bird, a blue car or a purple flower. Feel free to get creative with your photography or to design a neat image to send us. Use your imagination. Show us your true political colors on this assignment. If you don't feel that any of the three given colors represents you, tell us what you'd pick instead and why.

 

Whatever you decide, send us creative footage or images that demonstrate your political perspective as Election 2008 approaches.

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nsaidi
// October 24, 2008
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Posted in: stories, stories
Etch A Sketch iReports »

You may have noticed a new assignment asking iReporters to show off their creativity by sending in their Etch A Sketch artwork. The clever topic came from iReporter lamichaela , who shared the idea on our iReport Facebook page . She noted that the Ohio Art Company, creator of Etch A Sketch, is turning 100 this year – what better time to ask for iReports?

 

We also received some spot-on suggestions from zennie62 , such as asking iReporters to show us their commute to work. We loved lamichaela's idea and are thrilled with the excellent Etch A Sketch iReports that have come in so far.

 

Do you have the next big assignment idea? What would you like to report on? You can share your thoughts on our Facebook page or below in the comments field. And, while you're at it, be sure to become a fan of iReport.com on Facebook!

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katie
// October 21, 2008
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Posted in: community, community
Team iReport hits the road »

As the election season enters its final weeks, your friendly iReport.com producers are hitting the highways and byways (well, some of them) of the great United States of America to reach out to iReporters across the country.

 

We're hanging out with CNN's Election Express Yourself tour, which has been traveling for months already. At each stop, the tour organizers have set up a couple kiosks outside the Airstream trailer where you can step inside and record your video commentary on the election. The videos people are recording are posted on iReport.com for the world to see.

 

I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to pack up ungodly amounts of audiovisual equipment and document the tour experience outside the third presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. Getting to meet people face-to-face really brought home iReporters' enthusiasm.

 

The line of people leading up to the trailer was huge and you could have cut the excitement in the crowd with a knife. Students wore campaign shirts and carried signs to show their support for their candidate of choice. Some people even dressed up as polar bears, bananas and chipmunks to draw attention to their cause. Security was tight and officers weren't allowing too many folks into the area, but iReporter James Brierton (Username: jbjimbo ) managed to meet up with us outside the campus and got some footage of a small protest that formed on a street near the debate venue. (You should have seen him sending iReports and then transmitting a live radio broadcast to a local station with his cell phone and his laptop, which he plugged into a random electrical outlet he found.)

 

There are still more stops on the tour and you'll be able to visit us much more easily given the absence of the requisite security that accompanies the leader of the free world. We can't wait to talk to you and find out how you iReport.

 

Check out our upcoming stops. The bus just left the Newseum in Washington and here are a couple of the upcoming stops:

 

October 21: Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio

October 24 and 25: CMJ Music Festival in New York

 

Hope to see you there! Wear your campaign finest and come out to share your thoughts as November 4 draws ever closer.

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nsaidi
// October 20, 2008
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Posted in: community, community
iReport Film Festival: Vote now! »

Twenty semi-finalists have been chosen for the iReport Film Festival , a diverse mix of creative and thought-provoking shorts from the campaign trail. Now it's time to rank your favorites!

 

Head over to cnn.com/ireportfilmfestival to submit your pick and see which films made the cut. Hurry -- you've got until midnight ET, Wednesday, October 22, to vote. Then be sure to check iReport.com at 11:00 p.m. ET Sunday, when the audience award winner will be announced.

 

 

All of you who entered the Festival should be proud -- the quality of every submission was outstanding. We can't wait to see more from such talented filmmakers!

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katie
// October 20, 2008
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Posted in: community, community
Community concerns »

We've noticed a disturbing increase in the number of racist comments, personal attacks and other inappropriate posts on iReport.com in recent days. This is unacceptable and it has to stop. We have already banned some users for violating our Community Guidelines and are actively working to identify and remove problem members. You can help by flagging inappropriate posts and comments. Just click the “flag for review” link wherever you see content that you think violates the site’s community guidelines. I would like to urge everyone to review our Community Guidelines and Section 7(A) of the Terms of Use ("Conduct on iReport.com") you agreed to when you created your account. Just to be perfectly clear, here are some specific examples of the things that need to stop: Please do not post iReports attacking other members of the community. All that saying "davidw is a racist/sexist/fascist etc" will do is upset that user and likely lead to angry denials and personal attacks. Racist posts will not be tolerated - if you put Obama's head on a monkey (or McCain's for that manner) you will be banned. Impersonating another member of the community by creating a similar username (ie Davidw, davidW, etc) is a violation of the terms of use and is grounds for banning the account. Do not send harassing private messages to other users. If someone asks you to stop contacting them, STOP. We get thousands of comments every day, and most of the discussions on our site are smart, passionate and often funny. All you have to do is look at the entries to the iReport Film Festival or James Amerson's amazing photos of wildlife at the Northwest Florida Zoo to see how inspiring our community really is.

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davidw
// October 20, 2008
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Posted in: community
iReporters witness protests at presidential debate »

NOTE: This post comes from iReporter James Brierton (Username: jbjimbo -- click to see his stories ), who got a look at the other side of the red "i" when he interned with the iReport.com team this summer. Several iReporters outside the third U.S. presidential debate found themselves documenting a protest near the historic event at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. A small demonstration brewed up on the street alongside the venue where the event was held. The protest had been peaceful for much of the day, but around 7 p.m. local time on Wednesday, October 15, a group of anti-war veterans marched towards a blocked-off university entrance to demand entrance into the debate. Police on horseback made attempts to control the crowd, which was stopping traffic along Hempstead Turnpike. iReporter Dean Laurence, on scene with myself and two other high school journalists, captured photos and video as the events unfolded. He then quickly got them ready to be uploaded to iReport.com. Another submitter, mackenten , described the scene as "one of the most dreadful and deplorable experiences I have ever been a part of" as he looked back on snapping photos of the protests . His iReport became one of the most commented stories on iReport.com the day it was posted. ToTheStreets captured video of Nassau County police riding their horses and clashing with protesters on the street. Take a look at ToTheStreets and these other iReporters' work. Hopefully you'll want to send an iReport of your own if you haven't already. You never know when you might witness history unfolding near you.

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nsaidi
// October 17, 2008
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Posted in: stories, stories
What's in a name? »

Joes of many political stripes, both real and imaginary, have been at the front of this year's presidential campaign: Sarah Palin said in the vice presidential debate that Americans should commit themselves to "Joe Six Pack." John McCain and Barack Obama went rounds in the final presidential debate over an encounter with "Joe the Plumber," and how he'd fare in the candidates' tax plans. And, of course, there's the Democratic VP nominee Joe Biden. What gives with all the Joes this year, and what impact will they -- should they -- have on the election? If your name is Joe, we want to hear from you. Is there a Joe in this campaign you identify with? What do you think of all the attention your first name is getting? Shoot a short video and upload it alongside the other "Joe" submissions on iReport.com .

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lila
// October 17, 2008
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Posted in: stories, stories
Ahead of the curve »

It seems everyone's talking about 'Joe the Plumber,' today, following the final presidential debate between Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama. His name was mentioned some two dozen times by the candidates when discussing their economic polices. Today, Joe is the topic of countless blog posts, water cooler conversations and news reports. But well before he hit the national spotlight, our iReporters were already talking about him. iReporter VotingFemale posted a story yesterday morning about Joe. It was among Wednesday's newsiest stories, thanks in part to the 500-plus comments it received . And frequent contributor kbrown0419 sent in an impassioned video about Joe's encounter with Obama . We're excited to see that iReporters are ahead of the curve when it comes to news. So, tell us, what's the next big story?

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katie
// October 16, 2008
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Posted in: community
Just the text, ma'am »

We rolled out an update to iReport.com this week that stops the comments field from accepting embedded images, video and sound files. We did it because we'd heard a lot of complaints from the community that sound and pictures in the comments field were interfering with the main iReport content. You'll notice we also added a brief message about the change right above the comments field: "The comments field accepts only text comments, no embedded media files." 

 

Questions? Concerns? Fire away in the comments, just don't include any embedded files. :)

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lila
// October 16, 2008
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Posted in: site
Liveblogging the final debate...on iReport »

iReporters have come up with some pretty neat ways to use this site since its launch. One of the most unique things we've seen comes from veteran iReporter dpkronmiller . He's "liveblogged" each of the presidential and vice-presidential debates - on iReport! By updating the comments in an iReport throughout the debate and inviting others to do the same, he gives running commentary on the debate and helps keep iReporters up to speed with what the candidates are saying. Watching tonight's debate between Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain? Join dpkronmiller on his liveblogging iReport and let your thoughts be heard throughout the debate. Then, after it's over, grab your video camera and let us know your final thoughts . Your opinions could be heard on CNN!

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rachel8
// October 15, 2008
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Posted in: stories, community
Kicking it old school »

 

One of the coolest parts of working with iReports is seeing scans of old, faded, dog-eared photos that people have taken the time to dig out of their photo albums. In light of the recent economic situation, we thought it would be enlightening to look back at the Great Depression and you responded with incredible personal stories passed down through your family. We heard from pamvhv about how her great grandfather used to steal chickens and saw some amazing shots including photos from the Depression era. Meanwhile, we cringed as arosesetfree described her horror at watching her grandfather dine on squirrel brains because that was the only food around. You really get a different perspective on the present when you hear stories like this. There’s a lot of lessons to be learned from the past. We've decided to make this a regular feature because these stories you send are such a valuable lens on the past and present. As often as we can, we're going to try to take a look back in time at some event or theme in history. Let's kick things off with a retrospective on the 1918 flu . Tell us the stories that have been handed down. We're interested in hearing about World War I, fears about the flu, how your family was affected and what people experienced when they went to the doctor. Health treatment was a lot different back then. Share your story with us and we'll take a look back, just as we did with the Great Depression.

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nsaidi
// October 14, 2008
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Posted in: stories, stories
Reminder for iReporters »

Hi iReporters -- here's a friendly reminder that if you're out covering a story, you shouldn't tell people you meet and talk with that you're working for CNN. By all means let people you interview or put on camera know that you plan to upload your story to iReport.com, but please don't present yourself as though CNN has sent you to cover the story. Because it hasn't. iReport.com users are not employed by or affiliated with CNN and are not authorized to represent themselves to anyone as a CNN employee. You can read more about this policy in the iReport.com terms of use , under section 7, "Conduct on iReport.com."

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lila
// October 14, 2008
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Posted in: community, site
Radio Radio »

When the second debate between Senators John McCain and Barack Obama ended , iReporters had a lot to say about it and Steve Kastenbaum of CNN Radio was listening.

Kastenbaum gathered an audio roundtable of iReporters immediately following the debate. He spoke to iReporter sankofa1867 (real name: Jordan Sarver), a supporter of Obama, who responded to McCain’s linking of Obama to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. McCain supporter mongo9584 (real name: Kevin Neugebauer) praised McCain’s plans to cut taxes, while undecided iReporter BarbRad (real name: Barbara Rademacher), said she felt “disillusioned” with both candidates prior to the debate, and was relieved to see a lack of personal attacks in the debate. You can listen to the entire segment here.

iReporters like you continue to make your voice heard on this historic election, and there’s no time like the present to join in the conversation. What did you think about last night’s debate, and what would you like to see in the final debate next week? Fire up that webcam and share your thoughts with us !

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hhanks
// October 8, 2008
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Posted in: stories
iReport.com in the news »

If you read oh, say, just about any of your favorite news sites this weekend, chances are you heard about a controversial iReport.com user posting about Apple CEO Steve Jobs that said Jobs had suffered a major heart attack. There's no need to rehash the details here, but we do want to make one thing very clear: when you, the iReport.com community, saw a story that you didn't think measured up, you spoke up loud and clear. One of the first comments was from davejohnson who posted Apple's denial: "Apple says that the rumor is untrue." Based on this and other community feedback, iReport.com removed the story from the site. That's how iReport.com works: it's a user-generated site that invites anyone with a story to share it. Once it's here, the passionate community decides what happens next. If the story violates the community guidelines, it gets flagged or taken down. If, more likely, it's interesting and thoughtful and provides a new view or insight, it gets promoted to the homepage. Some stories may even end up as part of CNN's global news coverage after they have been vetted and cleared by CNN. What makes iReport.com tick is a dedicated community of users of users whose feedback and activity determines the direction of the site, and some days, like Friday, the feedback dictates what needs to go.

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lila
// October 6, 2008
 49 comments // Add a comment
Posted in: community
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