Blog : April 2009
iReporters go on air with breaking news »

From CNN.com Live Associate Producer Sarah Hill:

The Swine flu is an ever-developing story that has brought out iReports in stride, and two iRerpoters, MarisolMX and HonduRican had a unique, first person insight into the potential pandemic that threatens the globe.

They were each able to join CNN.com Live anchors Reggie Aqui and Naamua Delaney in the CNN.com live noon show to share their experiences via Skype.

Marisol Rodriguez shared her fears about walking in the streets of Mexico City, and even discussed making her own mask. Melvin Francisquini spoke about his interrupted fun as he just arrived in Mexico City when a state of emergency was called.

If you have a swine-flu related experience to share, submit your iReport!

Posted by:
 
rachel8
// April 30, 2009
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Posted in: stories
Denver nuggets »

Hey iReporters, here's something cool to check out this weekend.

 

iReport superstar Salsteels is giving CNN a tour of Denver as part of the My City, My Secret assignment.

 

After watching Salsteels' video , CNN producers traveled to Denver, where Sal showed off Boyer's Coffee, La Loma Mexican restaurant, The Fillmore Auditorium, Bluebird Theater and a skate park.

 

The "My City, My Life" producers said Sal's video stood out because he "followed the assignment, and sent in great visuals and brief but detailed description of his picks."

 

Tune in to CNN Saturday at 11 a.m. ET to watch.

 

And if you haven't already, please share the secrets of where you live. Your story could be the next selected.

 

UPDATE: Check out Salsteels on CNN !

UPDATE II: And here's ChrisMorrow on CNN talking about San Diego !

Posted by: tyson // April 30, 2009
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Posted in: stories
iReport weekly roundtable »

Next roundtable: Thursday, May 7th, at 2:30 p.m. ET

 

Thanks for participating in the iReport weekly  roundtable blog.

 

We had a great conversation at last  night's meeting and we're looking forward to another one  today.

 

There's not a set topic for today's  discussions, so we're looking forward to talking about your questions, comments  and concerns. We'd also like to hear what you're  working on, so let us know if you've got a cool iReport  coming.

Posted by:
 
davidw
// April 30, 2009
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Posted in: community
iReport evening roundtable »

Next roundtable -- Thursday April 30th at 2:30 p.m. ET


Thanks for participating!

 

Welcome to our monthly evening roundtable session.

 

We're looking to talking to you about what's going on in the iReport.com community. Please leave your questions, comments and concerns in the comments field below.

Posted by:
 
davidw
// April 29, 2009
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Posted in: community
Do you heart CNN? »

Hey crew, we wanted to let you know about a new assignment for those of you on Facebook.

 

CNN is looking for photos and video from its most wildly fanatic fans. So if you've ever baked a life-sized Anderson Cooper cake or wear Larry King-like suspenders to bed, you really should upload proof of your fandemonium to this assignment .

 

The "Biggest CNN Fan" iReports with the most community activity may be featured on the CNN Facebook fan page .

Posted by: tyson // April 29, 2009
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Posted in: community
Your iReports, our tips: #3 »

When it comes to making video commentaries, gr8telephant always has a lot to say. This week he wasn’t afraid to tell us where he stood in the Perez Hilton/Miss California spat. He sided with Miss California , who does not support gay marriage, saying she should be applauded for her honesty.

 

Beyond stating his thoughts, gr8telephant explained why he felt this way. If people are free to voice their support of gay marriage, then people can say they support traditional marriage, he argued.

 

 

What could have taken this iReport to the next level? Record a shorter commentary. Forty seconds is perfect, and if you’ve got a little more to say, don’t go over a minute. The longer you talk, the greater the chance you’ll wind up repeating yourself. Short, succinct videos have the best shot of getting used on CNN.

 

When he started talking, it took him about 30 seconds to get to the main point. Trimming background information would have given gr8telephant more time to develop his argument.

 

Great job telling us what you think gr8telephant! See you next week with more tips.

Posted by:
 
zdan
// April 24, 2009
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Posted in: boot_camp
iReport Roundtable: Tech talk »

Next roundtable: Wednesday, April 29th, at 7:00 p.m. ET.

 

Thanks to everyone who participated in this week's discusiion

 

This week we will be brainstorming story ideas for our technology section. We've invited CNN.com Technology Producer Brandon Griggs to join in our discussion

 

We want to hear what kind of stories you'd like to cover, whether it's the latest new gadgets and video games, hot new social networking sites or cutting-edge scientific research. This is your chance to shape the tech coverage on iReport and on CNN.

 

We'll also discuss any other questions, comments and concerns you may have.

Posted by:
 
davidw
// April 23, 2009
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Turning trash to treasure »

From Sarah Hill, CNN.com Live associate producer:

 

Wednesday's on-set guest started out as an economic story, but Cherry DelRosario's funky crafts do more than just save money on gifts. By turning trash into treasure, she also keeps clutter out of the landfill.

 

Cherry sent us detailed, step-by-step pictures documenting how she combined a clock and book to make a unique gift and turned a dart board into a jewelry vanity. She brought the finished products with her as well as the parts, and gave Catherine, the CNN.com Live anchor, a quick overview of how she redesigns old t-shirts and recycles old thrift store finds.

 

The cool recycled crafts were a perfect fit for CNN.com Live's Earth Day coverage. Hope you had a lovely green Earth Day!

Posted by:
 
katie
// April 23, 2009
 0 comments
Posted in: stories
iReport Roundtable: Tech talk »

Thursday, April 23 at 2:30 p.m. ET

 

Join us in here in the blog tomorrow for our weekly roundtable. This week we will be brainstorming story ideas for our technology section.

 

We want to hear what kind of stories you'd like to cover, whether it's the latest new gadgets and video games, hot new social networking sites or cutting-edge scientific research. This is your chance to shape the tech coverage on iReport and on CNN.

 

We'll also discuss any other questions, comments and concerns you may have.

 

We look forward to talking with you.

Posted by:
 
davidw
// April 22, 2009

Posted in: community
Passions run high over Miss USA and Perez Hilton »

After Perez Hilton blasted Miss USA runner-up Carrie Prejean for her answer on the issue of same-sex marriage, many iReporters reacted, sharing their views on the controversy on video and through comments.

 

 

NakedBoyNews declared that Miss California USA was “Miss Informed, ” OCGirl said that Hilton “crossed the line, ” while JimMorrison1 said that those against same-sex marriage were using the flap to spread “misinformation." ANAV defended Prejean, even going as far as to call her “the real winner.”

The flap even  prompted butterfly1 to sit down with her husband to discuss the issue for the first time.

 

Check out more from ReallyRick, kbrown0419, adriana71 and MelissaF as seen on CNN.com Live, and share your thoughts here.

Posted by:
 
hhanks
// April 22, 2009
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Posted in: stories
Should pot be legal? »


President Obama recently visited with Felipe Calderon, president of Mexico, to discuss measures to reduce drug cartel activity and increase border security. The issue of marijuana legalization has been brought up several times in public discourse as a possible solution to this problem. 

We asked iReporters to share their views on whether marijuana should be legalized, and we received a lot of passionate responses . To best present these viewpoints, we thought we'd try something new and place two videos side-by-side. Here, adriana71 and JimMorrison1 go head-to-head against and for legalization, respectively. Click the thumbnails to view the videos, then comment below and tell us who you think won the debate.

Posted by:
 
nsaidi
// April 20, 2009
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Posted in: stories
Your iReports, our tips: #2 »

iReporter Liberty1955 made an astute observation and did his homework when it came to his iReport about increasing food costs . He compared the prices of the same items over a couple weeks. His video was chock full of examples proving his point. The cost of creamer went up 20 cents. A pack of sausage links cost 40 cents more.

 

Not only did Liberty1955 report on the hard facts, but he also showed us what he was talking about. As he talked about each item, he showed it on camera. The audio matched the visual elements. Hallelujah!

 

But, there's always room for improvement. The next step would be to describe how this trend has affected you. How much more a week are you spending on groceries? Have you had to cut back on something else? We are always looking for your personal story!

 

And one more tip for Liberty1955: Get on camera to talk about the personal impact of the story. Seeing your face as you talk is more powerful than just hearing a voice coming from off the set.

 

Keep up the good work Liberty1955, and we'll see you next week with another tip.

Posted by:
 
zdan
// April 18, 2009
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Posted in: boot_camp
iReport Roundtable  »

Thank you to everyone who participated in this week's roundtable

 

 

We're working with CNN.com's entertainment section to come up with ways to get iReporters more involved in our showbiz coverage. Obviously, we'll be talking about "Star Trek", the new Harry Potter and other highly anticipated movies, but what else is going on? We want to know what's on your radar, whether it's a big concert or music festival, an album release, or any other entertainment anniversary or event.

 

Our goal is to come up some new ways to talk about the entertainment world that are fun to watch, and fun for you to produce.

Posted by:
 
davidw
// April 16, 2009
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Posted in: community
Collaborative reporting »

 

When iReporters tell stories together, they show us how people can help each other take pieces of a puzzle and turn them into a complete whole. iReporters yadray and sjunat55 and MarieSager decided to show their individual views of the moon from their homes in Paris, New York and Los Angeles, California, respectively. Everyone can see the sky, regardless of the language they speak or the place they call home. The photo gallery they produced together shows one simple subject, the moon, in strikingly unique ways. Another project these talented photographers are examining is using colors as photographic themes. So far we've seen yellow from sjunat55, pink from yadray and orange from MarieSager.

 

Any time we see collaborative iReport projects, we feel inspired to think about how we can all work together. maddogza did a collaborative video asking people to vote and PunjabiPower organized a group of iReporters to say "Happy New Year" together on tape. Collaborative storytelling on iReport.com is something we've been thinking about a great deal.

 

We want to hear from you. How can individuals use their roles, skills and resources to better explain what's going on in the news? Some folks like to take pictures, some like to write and some like to shoot video. What does a story look like from multiple perspectives? yadray says the group is eager to tell stories together and looking for ideas of things to cover together. Comment below and tell us what you think. If you have a burning desire for an iReport topic, upload your story and become the first to start the trend.

Posted by:
 
nsaidi
// April 16, 2009
 12 comments // Add a comment
Posted in: stories
Getting the story from the streets of Bangkok »

iReporters shared stunning images as protesters clashed with police and buses burned in Bangkok on Monday.

 

farleym, visiting Thailand from Maine, found himself in the midst of it all, coming across a charred bus while being driven by taxi. “I told the taxi driver to stop, paid him and we got out to see a wall of army troops in the distance coming up from the Democracy Monument,” he said. “We got on the side of the road and photographed all we could, the army advanced, the protesters set fire to two more buses and retreated.”

 

Speaking with CNN’s Reggie Aqui, jlhaimsohn, who has only been in Bangkok for four weeks,  shared his experience as protests took place . “Protesters have cordoned off the street, diverting traffic and are causing destruction to personal property,” he said. “Currently, it’s the Thai New Year so within two blocks of the violence, there are children playing in the street. It’s quite a celebration.” (iReporters such as ScottieW shared video of the celebrations as well.)

 

develter said that the police there showed “discipline and restraint” in dealing with the situation. At one point during a stand-off, he told me, “What was really chilling was the silence. You could hear yourself breathe.”

 

iReporters definitely added a lot to CNN’s coverage of this breaking news event. Were you there as well? Share your photos and video of the protests from earlier this week.

Posted by:
 
hhanks
// April 15, 2009
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Posted in: stories
10,000 on Twitter »

Amid the battle between CNN and Ashton Kutcher to reach a million followers on Twitter, iReport.com hit its own milestone. We welcomed our 10,000th follower, user Drifty_Gypsy , on the social media site today. Now we're wondering whether we should jump on the bandwagon and challenge someone to the 20,000th-follower mark.

 

If you're on Twitter, be sure to follow cnnireport . It's a great way to keep track of our latest assignments, find out about breaking news, and see some standout iReports that make it to CNN. Come say hello!

Posted by:
 
katie
// April 15, 2009
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Posted in: community
Your iReports, our tips »

What makes a great iReport? Well, after yesterday’s roundtable discussion, our team decided it’s time to give you some helpful tips. Each week we’ll show you an example of a good iReport and tell you how to make it even better!

 

A newcomer to the iReport community, Ireportphoto , shows real promise when it comes to capturing nice photos and videos . She submitted a few iReports about the GM plant coming down in Flint, Michigan. Not only did she give us her opinion on the situation, but she also asked questions to encourage comments.

 

 

So, what could have made these iReports even better? Put all the media together in one upload instead of multiple submissions. Having everything in one iReport paints the whole picture. All-in-one iReports make the best links for CNN.com.

 

And one more tip for Ireportphoto: Give some context in the text field, or get on camera and narrate what’s going on. Where is the plant located? When were these photos and videos shot?

 

In journalism school one of the first things you learn is the 5 Ws (and one H): Who, what, when, where, why and how. Including this basic information not only tells other users exactly what they’re seeing, but tells a better story.

 

Kudos to Ireportphoto and here’s to seeing higher quality iReports all over the site! See you next week with more helpful tips.

Posted by:
 
zdan
// April 10, 2009
 16 comments // Add a comment
Posted in: boot_camp
Roundtable follow-up: Tips on iReporting »

Thanks again to everyone who attended yesterday's roundtable discussion . We found the conversation very constructive and enlightening, and hope you enjoyed it too. There was a lot of discussion about what makes a good iReport and what the editorial team is looking for when we approve stories for CNN.

 

The iReport Toolkit is a good place to start when looking for tips, but many of you are asking for more. We hear you loud and clear, and -- starting today -- we're going to begin offering tips on the blog by looking at some of your recent iReports. We hope to make this a weekly feature.

 

Yesterday's discussion was one of the first we'd like to have about improving iReporters' skills and highlighting some of the outstanding submissions on the site. Thank you all for such an inspiring roundtable. Here's to many more!

Posted by:
 
katie
// April 10, 2009
 17 comments // Add a comment
Posted in: community
iReport roundtable today at 2:30 p.m. ET »

We look forward to chatting with you all during today's roundtable discussion. Several members of the iReport team will be here to answer your questions and comments.

 

A couple of things will be different about today's conversation:

 

* We'd like to focus the discussion on editorial issues. Tips for getting the "On CNN" stamp, questions about assignment topics, etc.

 

* Our community manager is on a well-deserved vacation, so we'll address community related issues next week.

 

* The roundtable will last for 30 minutes instead of the usual hour. We've got a packed schedule today!

 

If you have any questions about what makes a good iReport or how to improve your submissions, please bring them. We'll open comments on this post at 2:30 p.m. ET. See you then!

Posted by:
 
katie
// April 9, 2009
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Posted in: community
Economy got you down? Break into song »

As many Americans face the recession, at least three of them are putting their feelings about the economy into song, and sharing their work on iReport.com.

iReporter tomhenry composed “I’m Looking for a Bailout” after many of his family and friends were affected by the economy. His lyrics reflect some of the stories he has heard personally. “I had a good job in Motor City lugging tires on brand new trucks / Now my 401k is empty, I ain’t got a hidden stash of bucks.”

He formed the band Tom Henry & the Bailouts and they recorded a video which was uploaded to iReport.com. He hopes that this song will help those that were hit hardest. “I am hoping to help put food on their table, help them keep a roof over their heads, and give children a safe place to have sweet dreams again.”

ronnieray sang about the bailouts as well : “They keep the money rolling as they beg, borrow and steal /While the working man worries how he’s getting his next meal.”

Amateur musician rah2869 wrote the song “Robber Barons” and also posted a video on iReport.com. "I think the straw that broke the camel's back was when I opened up my 401( k) statement and all my stock portfolios were in the tank,” he said. His song echoes that experience: “Now we’ve lost our 401(k)s /And we’ll have to work until our dying days.”

rah2869’s strong feelings on the health care issue inspired him to pick up his guitar once again for another musical iReport, singing the “HMO Blues” . “In the past, I was ambivalent about (the issue), but that changed last year when my youngest child (now 14 months) was born 3 months premature with a whole slew of medical problems.”

Are you dying to share your musical talent to comment on the news of the day? Share your video on iReport.com (but only original music and lyrics, please)!

Posted by:
 
hhanks
// April 8, 2009
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Next iReport Roundtable: Thursday April 9th, 2:30 p.m. ET »

Thanks for a great discussion. Next week we'll talk about the stories we're focusing on here at iReport.com and answer any editorial questions you might have.

 

This week we started by celebrating some of the cool things that happened in the community this week.

 

Our autism awareness assignment got a huge response – more than 12 pages of stories from people whose children, or loved ones deal with the condition. Superstar iReporter Ryn shared a sweet video of her grandson Isaac, who was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome in 2007. She mentioned that Isaac has been obsessed with "Star Wars" for a while, so fellow iReporter KCRep decided to send Isaac a photo of the redwood forest where much of "Return of the Jedi" was filmed.

 

We also got some great news from iReporter infoaddict.  She told us that she got a job because of iReport.com and even interviewed her new boss. We're guessing that it was her plucky, can-do attitude that landed her the job, rather than anything we did.

 

We're thrilled to be a part of such a great community, and it's really heartwarming to see our members reach out to each other.

Posted by:
 
davidw
// April 2, 2009
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Posted in: community
Foolin' around on iReport »

 

During last week's evening roundtable discussion on the blog, DodgerManny suggested a fun idea for April Fools' Day:

 

We should upload bloopers of us making videos (if you have any). I know that sometimes we forget what we're going to say or the phone rings, etc. ... I think it would be funny.

 

As promised, DodgerManny shared a video reel full of bloopers from previous iReport attempts. It's hard not to giggle when he confuses holidays and trips on some tough words. We're glad he was willing to share those funny moments.

 

His bloopers reminded the iReport team of this gem: Watch as davidseaman is interrupted by his mom while recording a video. Classic.

 

If you're looking for more laughs, be sure to check out some of the creative office pranks that iReporters have pulled off. And if you've played a joke on co-workers, share it with us. Have fun!

Posted by:
 
katie
// April 1, 2009
 13 comments // Add a comment
Posted in: stories
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