Blog : January 2010
Let's re-read 'The Catcher in the Rye' »

It's been a while since we first read "The Catcher in the Rye," but since we heard the news yesterday that author J.D. Salinger had died, it feels like a good time to revisit the novel.


Here on Team iReport, a few of us are going to start re-reading the book this weekend. If you’re thinking of doing the same, join us here in the comments as we rekindle the spirit of literature class discussions gone by. Or something like that.


Here’s a start: If you want to join us, post a comment now with your name, your age today, your age the first time you read the book, and what you remember thinking about it then. And if you've never read this classic, feel free to dive into the novel and comment along with us.

Posted by:
// January 29, 2010
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iReport roundtable: Thursday at 3 p.m. ET »

Please join us here in the blog at 3 p.m. ET for our weekly roundtable discussion.


We'll have a sneak peek at some fun new assignments we're getting ready to roll out, and another surprise you might enjoy. As always, we look forward to answering your questions, comments and concerns.


Comments will open at 3 p.m. ET. See you there!

Posted by:
// January 28, 2010
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'Obamas' pitching products »

As President Obama takes the podium for his first State of the Union address tonight, it's worth taking a look at how this President, with his much-admired speaking style, has been impersonated and used in advertisements worldwide.

For example, take this ad for a car dealership, and this one from Indonesia featuring a local lookalike. Impersonators have also been big hits online since the 2008 election. (And there was the recent controversy over a photo of the real Obama in an advertising billboard in Times Square.)

Television viewers in Israel can see the latest entry in this proud tradition, and iReporter/Obama fan mrmannyc is right in the middle of it. During the election, he shared many iReports about his desire to see the then-candidate speak, and after being told of a resemblance, started posting up videos of himself as Obama. Flash-forward to today, where he is the star of a musical  Israeli TV commercial as the President, singing and dancing in the “White House,” saying “Yes, we can” to the “Yes” satellite television service.

mrmannyc reports that he has been asked to make a promotional trip to Israel. In the meantime, check out Jeanne Moos’ interview with him.

Posted by:
// January 27, 2010
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Posted in: stories
It takes an army »


Note: This entry is cross-posted from's Behind The Scenes blog.


In the last two weeks, amid all the chaos and heartbreak of the story in Haiti, something extraordinary happened on iReport.


Almost as soon as the quake struck, worried family and friends posted pleas for help to find the missing to CNN iReport. They came in by the thousands -- so quickly that our systems were inundated with people paging and searching through the faces, looking for news.


But we knew it was important that people were able to find all the names. So we sent out our own pleas for help to friends and family and the generous iReport community to help organize it all -- all the iReports, all the phonecalls to CNN, all the e-mail.


In no time at all a small army of volunteers and iReporters began poring over a mass of spreadsheets saved as Google Docs, collecting and giving structure to all the info CNN has about the missing and the found. (That's iReporter Chris Morrow in the photo, pitching in from her home office in San Diego, California.)


Thanks to their efforts, CNN's searchable list of the missing launched January 18 and now includes more than 10,000 names and faces, with more added every day. And the list is also part of Google's Person Finder, where it's integrated with lists from other organizations like the Red Cross and the U.S. State Department.


Now, as search and rescue efforts turn to relief and rebuilding, we are sorting through the iReport stories and using the power of CNN to shine a light on all that was lost, and all that still needs doing. If you know a story that needs to be heard, post it on iReport. We’re all ears.

Posted by:
// January 25, 2010
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Posted in: stories, community
iReport roundtable: Today at 3 p.m. ET »

Please join us at 3 p.m. ET for our weekly roundtable discussion.


It's been an incredibly busy week here at CNN iReport and we want to thank everyone for their patience. We also want to thank everyone for jumping and helping out following last week's earthquake in Haiti.

I got so many calls, emails and private messages from iReporters who wanted to help and saw that many more people just started reaching out to people looking for their loved ones.


We'll have more on your remarkable contributions soon, but I speak for the entire team when I say that I've never been prouder to be a part of CNN or the CNN iReport community.


We'll open comments at 3 p.m.

Posted by:
// January 21, 2010
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Posted in: community
Where are my page views? And what’s up with those staff badges? »

Hey iReporters, just a quick note to address a couple issues on the site.


It appears that our page view reader is acting up this morning. Our developers are addressing this and working on a fix.


New: Update from iReport developer Kyle Rogers: View count problem has been fixed. Thanks Kyle!


Also, you may have noticed that several of your fellow iReporters now have iReport staff badges next to their profiles. We've temporarily enlisted their help, along with an army of volunteers inside and out of CNN, to help us with our massive Haiti missing persons list. Much more on their incredible efforts soon.


Thank you.

Posted by: tyson // January 21, 2010
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Posted in: site
How to update information about missing loved ones »

The devastating earthquake in Haiti left countless families and friends wondering if their loved ones were safe. Thanks to a Herculean effort from CNN staffers, iReporters, and friends as well as thousands of submissions from iReporters around the world, we have created a searchable and shareable database of victims, survivors and those still missing since the quake.


If you have reported a loved one missing though CNN iReport, please help us by filling in any remaining information – name, age and location. Together, we can spread the word about those who are still missing in Haiti.


Updating your iReport is easy. Just follow these steps:

-          Log into

-          Click My iReport Profile to access My iReports

-          Select the iReport you wish to edit

-          When you’ve opened your iReport, select “Edit story”

-          Update your title with any missing information


Please update your information in the following format:

          LAST NAME, FIRST NAME; age; location


That will help us to ensure that our database is searchable. Thank you for your help. Our hearts and thoughts are with you as you look for your loved ones.




Tranblematè ki devaste Ayiti lotrejou a kite kantite fanmi ak zanmi ki ap mande si tout moun yo an sekirite.  Gras a yon gro jefò ekip ki travay CNN, iReporters, zanmi ansam ak de milye moun toupatou ki bay iReporters ransèyman, nou kreye yon baz enfòmasyon dinamik pou pataje non victim yo, moun ki siviv ak moun ki disparèt depi trablemantè a fin pase.


Si ou te rapòte youn moun ki manke nan CNN iReport, tanpri ede nou ranpli tout enfòmasyon nou manke – non, laj, ak kote moun nan te ye.  Ansanm nou va fè pase mo pou chèche moun ki manke toujou an Ayiti.


Pou mete lis la ajou, li fasil pou suiv etap sila yo:

-           Sou Internet antre nan

-           Klike sou  My iReport,com pou jwenn My IReports

-          Chwazi iReport ou vle chanje a

-           Lè li louvri, chwazi “Edit Story”

-          Chanje tout enfòmasyon ou bezwen chanje


Itilize fòma ki suiv la:

          NON FANMI,  PRENON;   laj;  anplasman


(Translation by Charmant Theodore, CLASiG International, LLC)

Posted by: katie // January 20, 2010
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iReporters help Haiti »

Team iReport has been absolutely stunned by how the iReport community has shown an outpouring of willingness to help however possible. Some examples:


• iReporters like sjunat55 jumped into the comments in order to help those with questions about finding loved ones or how to help.


Pixel became a quick study on Twitter by directing those searching for loved ones to, while MarieSager reached out on Facebook.


WCNreporter took to iReport to help find several missing in Haiti, and thus far, one has already been located!


JamesAmerson is selling one of his paintings on eBay and is challenging other artists to do the same so the money can go to charity.


ChrisMorrow shared the story of a University of California, Davis, student who was missing there and thankfully has now been found alive.


BarbRad interviewed a local professor from Haiti to get her thoughts on the situation and the immediate needs there.


EWillies1961 iReported in the early hours of the earthquake, urging members of the community to donate to the Red Cross.


MelissaF put together a video of organizations accepting donations for Haiti.


TheVideoMan attended and documented a fundraiser in Los Angeles for the victims.

Thanks to all members of the community who have done whatever they could for those affected by the earthquake. To find out more on how you can help, click here.

Posted by:
// January 16, 2010
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Posted in: community
The Haiti Missing Project: How you can help  »

CNN iReport is working to put together a database to help try to connect people with family, friends and loved ones in Haiti. The response has been tremendous – more than 4,000 iReports since Wednesday – and we're happy to report that some people on the list have been found.


We've called in people from all over CNN to help us and a lot of iReporters have asked what they can do.


Here are a few things that you can do that that would be a HUGE help:


• Tell your friends about Spread the word on your social networks. If you know someone who's looking for loved ones in Haiti, encourage them to upload a photo along with their name, age and location.


• Go to and read the comments on a few posts. If anyone posts an update, such as "I found my uncle," shoot us an email at


• If you've heard from relatives in Haiti, look through the posts to see if you see anyone else you recognize. Use the search function to look for people from their area. Your loved ones may have told you about someone who hasn't been able to reach his or her family.


• Leave encouraging comments on a few iReports. Let people know you care about them.


Thanks to everyone who's offered to help.


If you have any other suggestions, please leave them in the comments below.

Posted by:
// January 15, 2010
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Posted in: stories
iReport roundtable: Today at 3 p.m. ET »

Please join us here at 3 p.m. ET for our weekly roundtable discussion to talk about how the iReport community can help with the earthquake relief efforts in Haiti.


We've gotten calls, emails and private messages from iReporters asking what the community can do to help, so let's try to brainstorm some ideas. has a list of charities, aid groups and other ways you can help on the Link Impact Your World Impact Your World page, so that would be a good place to start.


Team iReport is devoting most of its resources to vetting iReports from Haiti and trying to help connect people with their loved ones in Haiti, so we're not going to be able to be here for the meeting.


We've been doing this for a long time, so we're confident that you'll be able to run the meeting on your own.


Comments will open at 3 p.m. ET. We're looking forward to hearing your ideas.

Posted by:
// January 14, 2010
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iReport outreach: Doing what we can for Haiti »


Tuesday's earthquake left hundreds of families wondering and worrying about their loved ones in Haiti. After the quake, we started seeing posts on CNN iReport from people who just wanted to get a family member's picture out on the web in case anyone had seen them. And all of us here at CNN headquarters hoped we might be able to help, so we decided to put CNN's worldwide reach to work.


We created this assignment to collect all the photos and stories of people who are missing family members, and the response has been overwhelming and saddening. More than 300 800 1,700 2,000 2,500 6,000 have come in so far, and we've spoken to many of you who submitted. We're putting your photos and information out on, Twitter (search for #haitimissing), Facebook and of course TV. We've also contacted iReporters who we know are in Haiti (and safe) to see what they might know.


We hope with all our hearts that these efforts will help some of you receive good news from your missing loved ones. In the words of BobbiKyle, who is looking for her niece and a friend, "this new technology is the future" of communication. We've asked people to comment on your iReports if they think they might have some information for you.


Our thoughts are with all of you who are searching for friends and family in Haiti. Please let us know if you're able to make contact with them. And if you can think of anything else we can do that might be helpful, please let us know that too.

Posted by:
// January 13, 2010
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Posted in: stories, community
Site outages »

We’ve been experiencing site outages today on the iReport section of, due in part to increased traffic and the incredible outpouring of submissions concerning the disaster in Haiti.


Our development team is working hard to keep our site up and running so you can continue to share your compelling images and stories with CNN.


Thank you.

Posted by: tyson // January 13, 2010
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Posted in: site
Whole lotta Elvis sightings goin' on »


Don't be cruel. We can't help but fall in hunka hunka burning love with Elvis all over again.


In honor of what would be Elvis Presley's 75th birthday, we asked you to ease your suspicious minds and share your memories of the King of Rock 'n Roll. You got us all shook up with photos and video of porkchops, studded jumpsuits and those extra-large sunglasses. Some of you told us personal stories about Elvis' impact.


Elvis was seen twice in Vegas by JGordonSUX and ChrisMorrow before making his way to Laughlin, Nevada, where he was spotted by TheVideoMan. Ambivalent talked about being an Elvis tribute artist, as did gr8dane74. arterry likes to perform as Elvis now and then, and 1parrot dressed that way for Halloween. There was even a hound dog dressed as Elvis from kathrynengel.


The hip-swinging singer changed the course of history in ways big and small. JJW took his now-wife to an Elvis exhibit on their first date and currently takes pictures of an Elvis figurine at famous locations around the world. We also saw photos from a big tribute night at Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee, thanks to iReporter ivydover. Others such as KCRep, MarieSager, xzxeddieezx and k0mm0nsense had lots of memories and photos of Elvis-related things to share. Not to be outdone, Norbinator has Presley's signature tattooed on his back.


We were going gaga over the different permutations and representations of Elvis, and I'm a little curious which ones are your favorite. Comment below, view our photo gallery of Elvis fans, and let us know what's going on near you on

Posted by:
// January 11, 2010
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Posted in: stories, community
America's economy story »



Yesterday, we did something new with the CNN iReport community. Producer/Writer Manav Tanneeru and I hosted a conference call with five other iReporters who will be part of a yearlong project scheduled to launch soon. We had the same conversation with another submitter the previous day.


We talked about the U.S. economy, which we all know has been in trouble for a while now. The unemployment rate is high, many homes have lost their value and business owners are having a tough time.


These iReporters introduced us to seven Americans who are dealing with such things. We plan to follow their lives -- their hopes, their ambitions, their anxieties and fears -- throughout 2010. And through their stories, we hope to get a picture of how the U.S. economy is doing.


Here’s the cast of characters, along with the iReporters who will be conducting interviews with them:


-  In New York, mcintron is following Kathy Kirkpatrick and her landmark Life Cafe

omekongo is taking a look at the housing market with Michael Andrews, who hopes to sell his Maryland home

WausauFamily will continue to provide updates on Guy Daniels, co-owner of Expressions Ink in Wisconsin

-  Unemployed chemist Bruce Pollard will share his story with EWillies1961 in Texas throughout the year

BarbRad is documenting Jamie Smith’s quest to start her own business in Arkansas

-  And ChrisMorrow is following Susan and David Nethero as they open new bra specialty stores across the country


During the phone call, we met each other and talked about what such an ambitious project would require. The enthusiasm was contagious and, like true journalists, the iReporters had plenty of great questions for us.


We’ll provide more updates on the project once it launches. In the meantime, we couldn’t be more excited. I think BarbRad summed it up best during the call: “We could be inventing something new here.”

Posted by: katie // January 8, 2010
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Posted in: community
CNN iReport Roundtable: Today at 3 p.m. ET »

Please join us here in the blog for our weekly roundtable discussion. We've missed talking with everyone over the holidays, so it will be nice to get back on track.


Since this is the first roundtable of 2010, it seems like a good time to set some iReport resolutions for the new year. Team iReport's big resolution is to spend as much of our time as we can on projects we feel passionate about.


I'd like to invite all of you to come up with resolutions of your own and share them at today's meeting. It doesn't have to be hard. Saying hi to a new person, or complimenting someone's work will go a long way towards making our amazing community an even better place.


You could also try doing something new. Check out our Assignment Desk if you're looking for inspiration.


If nothing else, I'd like for everyone to resolve to have fun here and to be as proud of what you're accomplishing as we are.


We'll open comments at 3 p.m. ET. We can't wait to talk with you.

Posted by:
// January 7, 2010
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Posted in: community
Tattoo artist inspires other single moms »

When I first watched the video of tattoo artist, single mom and performer Betsy Badwater from iReporter nehpeebles, it took my breath away. Not only was the video superbly shot and edited, Badwater’s story is a compelling example of the economy’s toll on everyday people.


After being laid off from her job as a mental health professional, Badwater eventually found work as a tattoo artist. She also regularly performs with her band, The Hillbilly Chrome. “I travel to as many places as I can to play songs for people who need to hear what it is to have a hard time,” she said.


We featured the video – which includes Badwater’s song “I Got Fired Today” – on, where it garnered a lot of attention. Badwater sent me an e-mail Wednesday saying her online record sales have quadrupled and she’s received plenty of encouragement from fellow musicians.


But perhaps the video’s most outstanding impact is the outpouring of support Badwater has received from single mothers. One called her “our Rosie the Riveter.”


“These women are breaking my heart,” she wrote. “What they saw meant something to them.” Badwater says she’s been inspired to write more songs for women out there struggling like her.


We couldn’t be happier about the response, and wish Badwater all the best. She’s just one of countless people who have been affected by the economy – if you have a story to share, please do.

Posted by: katie // January 7, 2010
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Posted in: stories
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