Friday, June 17, 2011
A reporting trip to the end of the world

Johnny Colt participates in a handstand contest with several children in Nauru.


One of the lead stories on today is a travel narrative from iReporter Johnny Colt, who visited the remote island nation of Nauru late last year.


Colt went on the journey in response to the iReport Global Challenge, a race to collect an iReport from every nation on the planet. Nauru was the last place to chime in. It was also a place most of us on the iReport desk had never heard of before, so we started digging in.


Before Colt started his journey to the tiny country, the only iReport we had seen from Nauru was actually several photographs from a trip Lee Miller had taken in 2008. Miller's photos sparked CNN's interest in this remote island nation. We wanted to know more about it today: what it looks like, who lives there, what’s going on. It turns out that Nauru is a pretty fascinating place, so we decided to send someone. Preferably an iReporter.


Johnny Colt had been posting extraordinary first-person reporting on iReport for months. He’s a former rock star – he was a founding member of the Black Crowes – whose stories show off this huge explorer spirit. His curiosity for a place and its people just jumps through the screen. It’s the kind of approach you want for someone who needs to drop into a place, make a lot of friends, and figure it out quickly.


In just three days on Nauru, Johnny explored the phosphate mines and the busy dialysis clinic, e-mailed with the president, found himself interviewed on the local radio station, bet on a losing horse, and lost a handstand contest with a bunch of gap-toothed smiling kids. You can see and read it all today on


Johnny’s trip and his story are in a lot of ways a big leap forward for iReport. It’s the first time we’ve sent an individual iReporter out on an assignment as a CNN contributor. Here’s to more where that came from.

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June 18, 2011
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