Thursday, September 02, 2010
CNN iReport Boot Camp

Calling all iReporters! Want to improve your journalistic and technical skills? You've come to the right place. You've been asking for it, and now it's here: iReport boot camp!


We're cramming a j-school overview into eight short weeks. Each week we'll cover a different topic, from photography to interviewing to editing. And the coolest part? You'll get tips and live, one-on-one feedback from specially selected CNN experts in each area.


How does it work?

Here's the plan: Starting September 3, we'll launch a new topic every Friday. We'll publish tips from CNN experts on the topic and open up that week's iReport assignment, which is designed to help you stretch your skills in that particular area. You'll have several days to complete the assignment, and your submissions will then be evaluated by our CNN experts. The following Thursday, our experts will participate in a live roundtable discussion with you right here on our blog. They'll offer feedback on your work, answer questions, and share additional thoughts and suggestions. Finally, at the end of it all, we'll bake all your work and the experts' feedback into a series of fun and informational videos that you'll have as a resource for the future.


How can I participate?

There's no need to sign up -- just take note of when the topics you're interested in will be taking place and be sure to submit to those assignments and then come to the roundtable for feedback. You'll get the most out of boot camp if you participate every week because you'll be able to build on your skills, but if you're only interested in one or two topics, that's totally fine too!


What are the topics? And what's the schedule?

Glad you asked! You can always check the boot camp launch page to find out the week's topic and assignment, but for those of you who like to plan ahead, here's how it's going to go:


Week 1 - Photography: Launches Sept. 3, roundtable Sept. 9 at 3:30 pm E.T.

Week 2 - Getting it seen: Launches Sept. 10, roundtable Sept. 16 at 3:00 pm E.T.

Week 3 - Sound: Launches Sept. 17, roundtable Sept. 23

Week 4 - Video: Launches Sept. 24, roundtable Sept. 30

Week 5 - Interviewing: Launches Oct. 1, rountable Oct. 7

Week 6 - Editing: Launches Oct. 8, roundtable Oct. 14

Week 7 - Storytelling: Launches Oct. 15, roundtable Oct. 21


We'll announce specific times for the roundtable discussions as we get closer to the actual dates.

Who are the experts?

CNN's best and brightest. From's Jan Winburn, who has a Pulitzer Prize in editing, to CNN Director of Photography Mark Hill, we've recruited the best in the business to help you sharpen your skills. We can't tell you all the names right now (you know how unpredictable journalists' schedules are, and there may be some surprises), but rest assured: These guys are good.


Well? What are you waiting for? On September 3, get started with our first challenge: Photography. You can find tips and tricks from CNN Director of Photography Mark Hill here, and try your hand at our "wide, medium, tight" photography assignment here. Don't forget to come back to the iReport blog (yep, right here) on September 9 at 3:30 pm E.T. to get live feedback on your work from Mark and his staff. Good luck!

September 2, 2010
Click to view maddogza's profile

Wow...this is awesome! Very sad that I won't be able to participate, though. I'll be going back to school in Swaziland, where the internet isn't good enough to upload big files, next week, and I'll only get back to the U.S. in December. I hope you guys will post some round-up stories to let us all in on the tips from CNN's finest! :D



September 2, 2010
Click to view cynthiafalar's profile

Can't wait!  Bring it on!

September 2, 2010
Click to view LensLord's profile

Good timing. I am looking forward to this experience.

September 3, 2010
Click to view findalok's profile

great initiative

September 3, 2010
Click to view tyson's profile

@LensLord - great user name. This should be right up your alley ;)

September 3, 2010
Click to view cv28's profile

Gran idea!

Felicitaciones desde Uruguay!

September 3, 2010
Click to view Skyblue38's profile

Thanks Rachel

Im here for any Aussie info your dealing with

NZ Quake

Torrential rain over weekend in south east Australia

Jimmy Barnes new album

September 5, 2010
Click to view droff's profile

Where do I send my photo's?

September 5, 2010
Click to view LensLord's profile

@ⓘtyson - I do like my moniker. And I am looking forward to getting my chops up.

September 6, 2010
Click to view larena's profile

amazing assignment thanks looking forward for the next ones too

September 7, 2010
Click to view GTVswisslife's profile

what happened to my photos? i cant see them, all my way to france to take this pictures night and day , were are their, am i getting discouraged ? no way i will always push ahead;  How many are we from Switzerland ? 

   can cnn have a franch side of it? just like cnn arabic

       Max Acha O. 

September 7, 2010
Click to view weekhee's profile

I always love to write, and make report.  But I'm not good with my language no matter how I tried.  Will there be possible for me to be a good journalist?

September 13, 2010
Click to view Ambeel's profile

i always want to contribute towards anything that has to do with giving of information or telling a story. i love writing stories about things that happen around our society, i think with this it will help me polish my skills and be a good journalist and a writer. thanks

September 17, 2010
Click to view alleebeth's profile

Where's today's assignment? :)

September 17, 2010
Click to view LensLord's profile

I too, have been looking for the link to be turned on. … Since 7am PST. … I also looked this past 1am EST. …   ;-)

October 20, 2010
Click to view ecotraveler's profile

This was a great assignment, cnn. Much appreciated. In the midst of sending in a photo for another assignment category, I discovered a story which seemed more intriguing than the boot camp story I initially intended to cover. A great learning experience (had computer and camera/upload issues to work around too), and am learning lots from the other ireporters as well. Thank you all.

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