Blog : November 2011
iReporters: Tell us about yourselves! »


We here at iReport think the world of our iReporters. It only makes sense that we would want the world to think the same as well.


We recently invited iReporters to introduce themselves and explain why they iReport in our video portrait assignment, and the submissions we’ve received so far have reinforced just how great our community is!


The daily freight train that runs through Murdock, Minnesota served as the background for Jannet Walsh's video portrait. She explained that her family has lived in the small town of Murdock, population 303, since the late 1800s. Walsh added that she iReports because it gives her a voice.


Neal Moore submitted his video portrait from Liberty Square in Taipei City, Taiwan. “I’m a storyteller, plain and simple,” he shared in his video. “I love sharing stories, and via iReport I love the challenge of sourcing, chasing, and chronicling stories from an international perspective for the benefit of a global audience.”


And Mark Joyella, digital producer for Erin Burnett's OutFront, was among several CNN staffers who introduced themselves with a video portrait to the iReport community. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, and invited iReporters to share their untold stories with the show, as “maybe that will be the next story that OutFront will be on.”


iReport would not be the awesome place it is without its keen and colorful iReporters. So, tell us why you iReport in our video portrait assignment, and introduce yourself to the world. But don’t delay! The deadline is tomorrow—Wednesday, November 30.


UPDATE: Good news! There's still time to send in your portrait. The deadline has been extended to Friday, December 9.

Posted by:
// November 29, 2011
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Team iReport is thankful for ... »


It's Thanksgiving again! This past week iReporters have been telling us what they're grateful for, whether that is positive thinking, having medical insurance, or simply not being a turkey. The stories were all so moving that we put together a piece of what you’re thankful for and featured it on


We've had time to think about the question as well. We have a lot to be thankful for this year.


For one, we turned five in August, and iReporters from all over the world organized birthday parties and celebrated with us. That was awesome.


Back in May, our "Walk around the world" video won best remix/mashup at the Webby Awards, in no small part because of the kick-butt response it received from the iReport community.


And just this November, we re-launched our website with a brand new style and flow that's bringing us closer together to the people and interests we value most. We're thankful for the many talented people who worked hard to make this possible, for the support and feedback we get from the community every day, and for the opportunity we have to highlight stories and sights from all over the world.


Your stories. Your sights.


Thank you.

Posted by:
// November 24, 2011
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iReporters' take on CNN GOP national security debate »

Last night, the prospective GOP primary contenders gathered at George Washington University in Washingon, D.C., for a CNN-hosted debate on national security and foreign policy. Candidates squared off on the war in Afghanistan, immigration, aid to Pakistan, and why they believe they'd be a more effective Commander-In-Chief than President Obama.


iReporters who watched the debate shared their thoughts on the best and worst performances of the night.



Longtime politics iReporter Egberto Willies was impressed by last night's debate, and thought it was one of the more substantive ones to date. While he thought Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney were "intellectualy dishonest," he was particularly impressed by the philosophies of libertarian-leaning candidates Jon Huntsman and Ron Paul.


"Jon Huntsman came across  as a real conservative with true American values without the need to  pander," he said. "Ron Paul is consistent and I like his mind-your-own-business foreign policy. These guys were the only consistently truthful ones on stage. The others knowingly lied to pander."



iReporter Virgil Edwards, however, thinks the debates suffer from their present format. He believes that the moderators have too much power to favor certain candidates over others, and that when a question is asked everyone onstage should be given a chance to respond.


Like Egberto, he thought that Ron Paul had the best debate performance of the night: "I agree most with his stance that part of what motivated the 9/11 attacks was blowback from our foreign policies of the past and present as it pertains to the Middle East," he said. "Ron Paul is the only true  conservative in the race, as the rest are different sides of the same liberal coins as it pertains to the growth of government and reckless government spending and reckless foreign policies."

Posted by: jmsaba // November 23, 2011
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Posted in: stories, stories
Warm hearts at Chicago iReport meetup »

From left to right: iReporters Diana Nguyen, Kris Nequin, Chris Sanders, CNN iReport news producer Christina Zdanowicz, iReporter Rob Benetti and Patch editor Renita Young. Special thanks to Patch editor Paul Dailing for being our photographer!


When it comes to Chicago, I’m definitely biased. I’m from here and I love it. Now I have another reason to love the Windy City: the iReporters are great!


Four iReporters braved the 30-degree weather and met up with me at Hopleaf Bar in the Andersonville neighborhood last night. And, two editors from local sites – hyperlocal news sites run by do-it-all journalists – brought their savvy about community journalism to the table. We all enjoyed a few beers and a conversation that lasted almost four hours!


Going around the table, I asked for peoples’ real names and their iReport usernames. And when I met Kris Nequin, aka turtle, I couldn’t believe it. Nequin was one of the beta testers before iReport launched in 2008. He was amazed with how iReport has been better integrated into CNN over the years, he said.



Next to Kris was Chris Sanders, a submitter who came to us after Team iReport found his hilarious rant about Netflix posted on YouTube. He even shot a quick video at the meetup in true vlogger style. (He promised me an iReport, and here it is.)


Newcomer to the iReport scene Rob Benetti explained how he’s using iReport as a way to transition into a new career: photojournalism. We’re always tickled pink to have new submitters joining the community.


And even though I overpacked and couldn’t fit any iReport T-shirts into my carry-on, Diana Nguyen saved the day. She brought some iReport birthday shirts from the attempted Chicago meetup in August. Thanks, Diana!


It may have been cold out, but I can tell you that Chicago iReporters certainly have warm hearts.


It was a pleasure meeting all of you and I hope we can grow an even stronger iReport community in Chicago!

Posted by:
// November 18, 2011
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iReport roundtable: Thursday at 2:30 p.m. ET  »

Please join us here in the blog at 2:30 p.m. ET for our weekly roundtable discussion. Our developers have been working hard to fix the bugs that popped up after our relaunch on Monday and we'll have an update on their progress.


We've made a lot of changes, so if you've got questions, suggestions or complaints about the site, we will be happy to address them.


We'll open comments at 2:30 p.m. ET and we'll look forward to talking with you.

Posted by:
// November 17, 2011
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Internet Explorer issues »

We've heard from several iReporters, who are having trouble using the site in Internet Explorer 9. Our developers have chased down the problem and expect to fix it with a software update on Thursday. That's just one of the bugs they're planning to correct. We'll let you know when we have more details.


If you see anything that looks weird or isn't working right, please let us know and we'll check it out.

Thanks for your help and your patience.

Posted by:
// November 16, 2011
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Posted in: site
The new iReport is here! »


2011 has been a big year for iReport. It's been a centerpiece of CNN's coverage of so many hugely important news stories, like the revolution in Egypt and Arab Spring, the earthquake in Japan, and more recently, the aftermath of Hurricane Irene and Occupy Wall Street. In the course of all those stories, we've also made iReport a more powerful tool for participating in the news by launching things like the Open Story and a new iReport app. And of course we celebrated a big milestone - five fantastic years - with a party all the way around the world.


Today we're releasing an entirely re-imagined version of iReport for web, one that starts and ends with the most important thing about iReport: its people. People who care deeply about stories they're part of, or issues that affect them. People who share their experience and expertise to help the rest of us understand the heart of a story.


The new iReport invites you to surround yourself with sources and topics that matter to you. Tell us what you care about and we'll alert you when there's a story that needs your voice. CNN will continue to pay close attention to the stories and conversations here on iReport, and vet the best ones to include in CNN's coverage. Together, iReport and CNN can tell the whole story.


Ok, so. This new site? There's a lot here. A few things we hope you'll notice right away:


A personalized homepage. Once you log in, you'll see a new iReport homepage that's designed to highlight stories and assignments we think you'll be interested in. You might not see a whole lot at first, but as you join new groups and follow iReporters you admire, their work will be what you see on your homepage. To start off, everyone is following Team iReport, the group at CNN charged with finding and highlighting the best of iReport every day.


Groups. There are nearly a million people in the iReport community. That's a lot of people. The new "groups" on iReport are like mini-communities of people who share a common interest, like politics or travel photography or Robin Meade's Morning Express show on HLN. Join groups to meet other people with interests like yours, and to get new assignments on stories that need your voice.


Favorites. Every iReport sports a new "favorite" button, which lets you mark the stories you think deserve attention. Your favorites will display on your profile page, and also help tell CNN which stories need looking into.


A beautiful new media player. We've rebuilt our media player so that every video and photo iReport can now be seen in beautiful high definition format. It's the same size and quality of the new video player on, which means that iReporters and Anderson Cooper get equal treatment for their best work. Awesome.


Check out this demo of the new site!


That's just the beginning. Take a look around, try out the new features and let us know what you think. You can drop us a line at, or stop by one of several community roundtable chats we'll host on the iReport blog over the next few days.


Hope to see you soon,

Lila & Team iReport

Posted by:
// November 15, 2011
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iReport Roundtable: Tonight at 6 p.m. ET »

Please join us here at 6 p.m. ET to talk about all of the new features on CNN iReport. iReport producers will be here to answer any questions, comments or concerns you may have about the new design.

Our developers have been working hard all day to chase down bugs on the site, so if you see anything that looks weird, please let us know. We got a ton of great feedback in the 12 p.m. session and we've already passed it along to the team.

If you can't make it to tonight's roundtable, feel free to email me at

We'll look forward to talking with you.

Posted by:
// November 14, 2011
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Posted in: community
iReport roundtable coming up at 12 p.m. ET »

Welcome to the new iReport! We are rolling out a lot of big changes today, so you probably have a lot of questions.


Members of Team iReport will be on hand starting at 12 p.m. ET to answer your questions and address any concerns you may have about our new design. If you notice anything that's not working right or have suggestions please let us know. We'll also walk through some of our exciting new features.


Comments will open at 12 p.m. and we're looking forward to talking with you.


P.S. We'll have another roundtable at 6 p.m. if you have questions this afternoon.

Posted by:
// November 14, 2011
Posted in: community
Coming soon ... »

You may have noticed a few things here on iReport look a little, well, odd. That's because we're in the middle of launching a brand new version of iReport with loads of new features. Please bear with us for a bit while we roll everything out.


Meantime, if you have a story that just can't wait, e-mail it to (single file attachments only, max 20MB).  And drop us a line on Twitter @cnnireport or at to let us know what you think of the new site.

Posted by:
// November 14, 2011
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Site maintenance Monday morning »

Our development team will be doing some work on the CNN iReport site on Monday morning and we'll have to take the site off-line while they're doing their thing under the hood. They're planning to start work at about 7 a.m. ET and the project is expected to take a couple of hours.


There will be two iReport roundtables on Monday - at 12 p.m. ET and at 6 p.m. ET if you have any questions for us.


If there is breaking news, you can email your iReport to and we will contact you as soon as we're back online. We apologize for the inconvenience, but we think you'll like the end result.

Posted by:
// November 13, 2011
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Chicago iReport meetup next week »


Hey hey Chicago! We’re excited to let you know that CNN iReport is traveling to Chicago and we thought it would be a great idea to meet up with iReporters while we’re in town. If you’re free, we’d love to see you on Thursday, November 17.


CNN iReport news producer Christina Zdanowicz (yep, that’s me) will be upstairs at Hopleaf Bar (a gastropub in the Andersonville neighborhood) to meet with you and have some fun.


Here are the details:


CNN iReport meetup
Thursday, November 17
7 p.m. to 9 p.m.


Hopleaf Bar (upstairs)
5148 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60640


The bar is about 6 blocks west of the Berwyn L stop on the Red Line. Or, if you’re driving, there will be street parking available. We hope to see you there!

Posted by:
// November 11, 2011
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Posted in: community
iReport roundtable: Thursday at 2:30 p.m. ET »

Please join us here at 2:30 p.m. ET for a roundtable discussion.


It's a chance to get to know other iReporters and talk about what's going on in the community. iReport producers will be here to answer any questions you have.


We'll open comments at 2:30 p.m. and will look forward to talking with you then.

Posted by:
// November 10, 2011
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Posted in: community
iReport and Facebook team up to honor veterans »


In honor of Veterans Day this Friday, we have teamed up with our pals at Facebook to present a new way to salute vets. In hopes of reaching an even wider audience, we’re inviting Facebook users to upload photos or videos of a veteran who has touched their lives and tag CNN iReport in the photo or video. The tributes will then be displayed on iReport's Facebook Page for everyone to see. We’ll also reach out to some of the best salutes we receive on Facebook and feature them on iReport, employing our nifty “Submitted via Facebook” bug in the producer’s note in the submission.


Two of our very own iReport staffers uploaded tributes to vets on both platforms. iReport producer Carly Costello is pictured above with her brother, Corporal Barry Costello and her boyfriend Greg Veal. Carly uploaded a tribute to honor Barry, who returned from Afghanistan on October 28. And iReport ringleader Lila King uploaded a tribute to her dad, Mike King, who served in the U.S. Army.


If you know someone who has served in the Armed Forces and would like to salute their service, you can upload a tribute to iReport’s Honor a Veteran assignment, or tag iReport's Facebook Page  in a picture or video of the vet you would like to honor. If you would like to honor the memory of a fallen service member, you can upload a tribute to CNN’s Home and Away assignment page. A good resource for more information regarding the military and Veteran’s Day is the U.S. Military's Facebook page.

Posted by:
// November 8, 2011
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Posted in: stories
How to post iReports »

So you say you have a story to tell? One the rest of the world needs to hear? You've come to the right place. Post it here on iReport and it may well get picked up for CNN. Here's a look at the many ways to post your iReport:


Upload on the web

Use the upload form on the iReport site. Just click "upload" from the top right corner of any page of iReport, fill out the form, and post up to 10 files in any combination of video, photos and audio.


  • Format: Up to 10 files, in any combination of video, photos and audio
  • Max file size: 600 MB total for all file




Visit your profile page to create a custom e-mail address for posting iReports by e-mail. To e-mail in a story, send a photo or video as an attachment. Your subject line will be the headline of your story, and the body of your e-mail will provide the description. Be careful to strip out any auto-signatures since any content of your e-mail will post publicly to iReport (and you probably don't want to publish your mobile number, for example).


  • Format: One photo, video or audio file
  • Max file size: 20MB



E-mail anonymously

You can also e-mail a story to, which will post it to iReport under an anonymous user account. Later, you can visit the story on iReport and claim it as your own to move it under your iReport account.

To e-mail in a story, send a photo or video as an attachment. Your subject line will be the headline of your story, and the body of your e-mail will provide the description. Again, be careful to strip out any auto-signatures since any content of your e-mail will post publicly to iReport.


  • Format: One photo, video or audio file
  • Max file size: 20MB



CNN apps for mobile

You can post iReports and get the latest assignments from most of CNN's apps for mobile, including iPhone and iPod Touch, Android, Nokia Symbian phones, Nokia S-40, and Android Tablet. Visit CNN Mobile to download the latest versions.


iReport app for Android

You can post iReports (and lots more) from the iReport App for Android.


iMovie for Mac and iOS

Publish iReports directly from iMovie for Mac and iOS. With the iMovie app for iOS, you can even create a video with a custom iReport theme, complete with TV-ready graphics and a very newsy soundtrack.


Final Cut Pro

Publish videos directly to iReport from Final Cut Pro X with the software's built-in sharing feature.



Tag "CNN iReport" in a photo or video, and it will post to the CNN iReport page wall on Facebook, where CNN iReport producers may see it and reach out to you for more information.


Twitter, Instagram and Vine

Tag #cnnireport on your most newsworthy photos, videos and posts. CNN iReport producers keep an eye on that tag and may reach out to you for more information. (And while you're at it, be sure to follow us on Twitter and Instagram.)


Phew. That's it! Now that you know all the many ways to post iReports, head over to the Assignment Desk to pick up some story ideas. Happy iReporting

Posted by:
// November 7, 2011
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Posted in: site
iReporter featured on new photo blog »



Exciting news! launched a new photography feature called CNN Photos this week. It’s a bold, beautiful blog that puts feature photography in focus. It’s a place for the stunning photography CNN has thanks to staff, partners, freelancers and iReporters.


And what’s even more exciting is that an iReporter’s work has already been published on the new blog!


iReporter Charity Deane traveled to Makusa, Uganda, on a missions trip this summer and photographed her experience. Makusa is a tiny island that’s only one acre in size, but home to more than 400 people. Its inhabitants live in small, dilapidated huts crammed right on top of each other.


"I submitted the photos because I want to tell the story of these people in Uganda," Deane said. "I really wanted to share them with the world and knew they couldn't just stay hidden on my computer."


Deane’s final photo essay and story were published on after she participated in iReport boot camp, an initiative aimed at improving iReporters’ storytelling skills over a seven-week period.


Congratulations to Deane on earning a coveted CNN byline!


Share your photo essay and it too could be showcased on CNN Photos. Need some tips? Check out these tricks from seasoned CNN photojournalists. We can’t wait to see more compelling photojournalism on iReport!

Posted by:
// November 4, 2011
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Posted in: community
Racing to capture fall beauty before winter »

As trees prepare to shed their leaves, chlorophyll production drops and the beautiful colors from pigments like carotenes (oranges) and anthocyanins (yellows) shine through.


iReporters rushed to capture seasonal hues before the cold, snowy season. Some had less time than they thought.


John McGraw of Lansing, Michigan, took a weeklong road trip through his state in early October. He saw the Upper Peninsula and drove Highway 2 with Lake Michigan flanking his right. He also visited Traverse City and St. Ignace.


"At times, it was really tough to keep my eyes on the road," he said of his gorgeous journey.



The San Juan Mountains in Hinsdale County were glowing bright yellow when Greg Ochocki of Lake City, Colorado, brought out his camera at the end of September. He said warm weather brought the color later than usual. He used high dynamic range (HDR) photography techniques to show off the colors in the mountains.



The weather wasn't working in everyone's favor. Early snowfall created an interesting mix of fall colors and snow along the East Coast of the United States. Kevin Ding of Armonk, New York, shot photos of fall leaves and snow together at Columbia University on October 29.



For some, the mixture of snow and the harvest season proved a bit amusing. Jayanth Devasundaram of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, noted an "interesting combination of fall and winter symbols" in his area. He photographed a deer in the snow, as well as fall colors and a thematic snowman and even a scarecrow figurine covered in the white fluff of wintry weather.



Can you see fall leaves in your area? Are they still there, just beginning, or are they covered in snow? We'd love to hear your tips for finding and photographing fall foliage. Comment below and tell us what you're seeing in your area, or share your photos and video of the leaves or snow (or both) here on CNN iReport.

Posted by:
// November 2, 2011
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Posted in: stories
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