Tuesday, July 09, 2013
How to get a CNN byline: We're taking your questions!


[Updated at 4:28 p.m. ET] Thanks for coming to the hangout! Here's the archives of the discussion. Thanks to all who participated, especially Jack Barr and Jan Winburn.

Ever wanted to write for CNN? Richard Lucas has. He wrote a personal essay about his battle with anxiety.


Tracy Scarpulla has too. She wrote about her changing views on gun control.


Both Lucas and Scarpulla’s stories started off as iReports, and soon their essays were run on CNN.com with a byline.


If you’ve always wanted to know what it takes to write for CNN, this is your chance - you can post essays to our assignment!


We’ll be holding a Google Hangout on Tuesday, July 16 at 3 p.m. ET with CNN Digital Enterprise Editor Jan Winburn, and a special guest iReporter.


What separates personal essays from other writing? What do all of the iReport essays published so far have in common, and what does CNN look for in a writer? Find out Tuesday.


Winburn will be sharing a few tips on what CNN is looking for in personal essays, and as always, we’ll be taking your questions. Post them here on the blog, or you can tweet us your question using "#cnnessays."


We hope you’ll join us on Tuesday! Once again, click here at the appointed time to watch.

July 10, 2013
Click to view Sivarnee's profile

Big thanks for your advice. (^^)

I used to be a journalist/writer in many years ago in Bangkok, Thailand & London, UK (internship), after graduation. Frankly, I fell in love with this career for almost 10 years, and working with CNN is my dream jobs in the past and present. When I first time see the iReport, Oh I’m so glad and excite to be part of its community. 

Currently I worked at an international non-profit organization and it’s allowing me to visit in continents and countries, but I still love to be news/articles/essay writer. (I’d just tried to do at my very best with a limited time & resource from this moment in writing and sharing updated articles with a reliable source of news; media connections, press releases updated to get connect and engage in content distribution)

Get the CNN bylined article usually is a neutral educational piece which is a lot harder and take time for writers to review to produce a quality content per day. I was unsure and I think it may not suit to my lifestyle at the present, moreover I had to practice more and more... in writing, editing, and critiquing news articles, after changing the functions of careers for more than 5 years.

Meanwhile, I also prefer to work behind-the-scenes or in a supporting role in CNN news service in any matters.

Cheers, Thanks & Best Regards



July 11, 2013

it's be phenomenal. yeah i'll be there. and anyone else who wants to voice their opinion?? let's hear what everyone else wants to say as well??

July 12, 2013
Click to view marioradical's profile

In the advent of the latest technologies with regard to the spreading and sharing of news; is there a possibility that one day, print media or newspapers will/shall be obsolete?

On the personal side, I already posted quite a number of I-report posts, yet up to now I have yet to get a material that is CNN approved! Why ha? Thank you!

July 13, 2013
Click to view Mahariffic's profile

GREAT! I'll be there.

July 15, 2013
Click to view Sivarnee's profile

thanks to all feedback ><"

July 15, 2013
Click to view Sergiom's profile

How experimental and "personal" should I be in writing personal essays?



Should I format my personal essay according to literary standards, complete with an introduction, body and conclusion?

July 15, 2013
Click to view markpel's profile

I would like write my personal essay but whom?

July 15, 2013
Click to view Elisa76's profile

Is it essential to be mothertongue to get a CNN byline?

Is there a minimum number of words ti make a report interesting and, maybe, choosen for the byline?

A particular experience could be the "right" report?

July 15, 2013
Click to view tropezon's profile

there is a program right at this moment that is insultin the muslim community and its not the first time..the program is caso cerrado of telemundo..if you check out todays program july 15 2013 you will see what iam taking about, i wish something can be done in this matter..where can i get info to fallow this up..?

July 15, 2013
Click to view bajanbloggs's profile

hi,i await the day when my news goes global..

July 15, 2013
Click to view BloodySA's profile

Things that I'd like to know is if there is a specific layout of an article that can guarantee its success.

What can I do to reach more people to read my article, besides posting the link on social media?

Should I approach my article as a sales pitch with stating my intention, exploring various standpoints, developing my own point of view and closing? or are there better ways to write?

July 15, 2013
Click to view DesireG's profile

1. What are some topics that people tend to gravitate too?


2. How long should a good essay be? 500 words or more?


3. What is a good way to make your submission stand out?


July 15, 2013
Click to view sunethra's profile

What is a byline?

July 16, 2013
Click to view k3vsDad's profile

1. Is there a specific topic or subject area more likely to attract attention and garner a byline than more generalized topics?


2. Should an article be primarily filled statistics, citing reference sources or be more free style and opinion based?


3. Are you looking primarily for personal essays of a specific life experience or coming of age or awareness type article more than say observation or opinion essays?


Hope this helps stir the conversation.


Health permitting I'll do my best to be around Tuesday at 3 p.m.

July 16, 2013
Click to view MindyRWood's profile

I'm managing editor of a local magazine which publishes personality profiles, positive local stories, events, etc. I am looking for an an opportunity, however to do some hard news stories. I wonder if those kinds of stories would be welcome on the iReport platform? Is this only for essays/positive stories? If investigative reporting is welcomed, am I solely responsible for the fact checking or will I work with a CNN rep to verify those facts? Just a few questions...




July 16, 2013
Click to view Obamicaan's profile

This forum can be abused to spread false information.  How can CNN prevent erroneous  information submitted by citizen journalist from abusing others.

July 16, 2013
Click to view obaroakpo's profile

Am glad to be part of the CNN i-report family.

July 16, 2013
Click to view rachel8's profile

@MindyRWood - hey, thanks for asking! we absolutely welcome hard news in addition to features, commentary and essays. check out our assignment desk (link on the top right of the page) to see the kinds of things we're looking for. as for reporting and fact-checking, you'll do the majority of the reporting on your piece, but if we decide we want to run it on CNN, a CNN staffer will work with you to make sure everything is fact-checked and verified before it goes out. make sense?

July 16, 2013
Click to view rachel8's profile

@sunethra A byline refers the credit at the top of every CNN story that tells you who wrote it. you know, the part that reads "By Josh Levs, CNN."

July 16, 2013

Sorry I missed the discussion this afternoon.I like my CNN Byline as "The Governor" in fact I have a Facebook Page with 930 Friends who like me on CNN iReport stating "Nicholas Pegues aka The Governor".Also I am a business friend of Governor Bill Haslam of Tennessee.What do you think about the Byline "The Governor" for CNN iReport of Memphis.


Nicholas Pegues The Governor

July 17, 2013
Click to view Rabiumuazzam's profile

im in Nasarawa state,Nigeria,West africa

working for an online media 247ureports.com

i would like to extend my coverage to CNN ireports

July 18, 2013
Click to view IldaVarela's profile

Dear CNN when I klik here in order to participate next week, my computer does not speak english anymore. Only Danish. And the layout is completely different from CNN lay outs I`m used to. Then nothing happen. there is no way of going further from the danish CNN site.

July 31, 2013
Click to view Strongoni's profile

this just in .......the law is after Snowden big time, gonna get that guy one way or another......the law still has no interest in going after Cheney and his crew, Rover, Wolfman, Scooter, Clueless and others for outing an entire CIA network, over 30 agents their head quarters and many unknown operations......

August 13, 2013
Click to view guowuzhou63's profile




August 16, 2013
Click to view Tiffanyb2316's profile

no question just a statement ....



Has America just became blind and stupid? She knew what happened and it is obvious. Just like we knew Casey Anthony had something to do with her child's death. The only reason this will probably not be investigated is because the police publicly said she was not involved (mind you this was before she posted happy pictures of her self and her new glittery nails) COME ON AMERICA! She isn't innocent just like the many others that are her age sitting in jail for killing their family. SHE JUST HAS A PRETTY FACE! It's sad our country has lowered themselves to looks and money. No wonder we have so much crime. We put people in jail with far less motives like Ryan Furgeson, He had no circumstantial evidence and hes been in prison for 10 years. I know people would like to think a 16 yr old could not commit such crime but we as a country need to stop being blind. Enough with popularity, enough with racism, enough with it all and just realize there are bad and there is good.

August 21, 2013
Click to view terrridavis's profile

Dear Anderson Cooper, I have been taking loratab for over six years. I can't find a lawyer represent me i only have 75% use of my kidneys. They took blood because i have I am diabetic all the time. I thought they were keeping check on my kidney doing the blood test. They were not. Now I want to warn everybody about this drug. They are giving out like candy no one is aware of the danger. Please email me at moviestar@gmail.com to follow up.

September 1, 2013
Click to view MurrayMurray's profile


When big buildings are made, especially when public funds are used, the project often seems to run out of time or money. Extra public money then gets thrown in, as if there was no contract.


Here in Hong Kong there are a couple of large rail projects, both with price tags of 11-figure sums. If a project runs late, it means a lot of fares that wont be collected. As well, there may be 10-20% extra money demanded for completion; is that a ransom for billions of dollars? There has been a report that one of these projects will be 18 months late.


Why should we believe that with all the large buildings already standing, that they are so unpredictable to the people that take our money to design and build them? Time for some CNN questions!


Where will extra public money actually go? Who is being taken for a ride?

September 4, 2013
Click to view Rakazo's profile

Hello, How can I send CNN a story about a group of friends Kodak investors, we need to publish the story.

We are hundreds of investors from www.rankia.com 

we feel cheated and scammed

September 5, 2013
Click to view Ricotech's profile

My 97 year old uncle was refused service to his apple bank account because he is blind. any suggestions

September 6, 2013
Click to view Test001's profile

Watch this video its nice

October 7, 2013
Click to view phocus919's profile

I feel the need to share this comment with all of you. The concerns of the GOP and the needs of the people and this country, seem as disconnected as ever. The GOP seem to be stuck in time. Their approach to stimy the government regardless of consequence is a constricted view of the primal responsability of Congress. Their inability to be fluid in a world were fluidity is a must in order to keep your jobs is non excistant. We cannot fire them for not doing their most basic job, YET

January 9, 2014


March 4, 2014
Click to view weihaiyan's profile




I know about the matter of Tibet我知道西藏的事,我叫位海燕,是中国河北省保定市清苑县东吕乡南宋村人,为1区92号,现住北宋村。父亲位永祥,公公冯景章。周永康,云南省省长,杨建国,宁夏回族自治区省长。我想大人物,我想以前打的不可开交,我想西藏的和尚和尼姑,我想有100多和尚圆寂了。我毕业于宁夏师范学院,入学在2005年,大学老师和同学人名很凑巧。南宋村人都在想。我转北京城,开始不知道怎么回事,后期知道了。巧事很多,前几年我从屋外到屋里,正看到中央电视台里胡锦涛主席抬头。  宁夏师范学院老师和同学人名很凑巧,我的老师有蒙占海,赵飞燕,杨付龙,郝伏生,张国前,马文宾~ 我弟弟在我上宁夏上大学时出意外一只眼看不见了

同学人名单:1号王伯虎,2号李宗启,3号苏东东,4号焦龙,5号付晓芬,6号王政,7号梅亮,8号马蓉,9   号米凤超,10号李强,11号吴小倩,12号王晓霞,13号牛卿,14号位海燕,就是我,15号张琳,16号佘玛丽,17号潘云,18号赵小钧  ~38号杨会,39号卜慧芬,40号蒙志宏。还有徐世前,王虎松,马殿财,杨建国,李筱,张宝童,司建舟,王玉环,马晓怡,王红娟  ,陈素云,郭晓霞,吴成渝,张煜,张淋洪。全班40个人,还有4个想不起来。我在的班是物理教育班,还有一个现代教育技术班。  我刚上宁夏上大学在火车上认识对坐两人叫成海林,宋柏明。我的身份证号是13062219840802402x。


我叫位海燕,宁夏师范学院的老师有蒙占海,赵飞燕(在我毕业前我迷迷糊糊跑到北京转北京城告状,飞燕)杨付龙(我弟弟小名叫大龙,在我上宁夏上大学向我妈告郝伏生之前,我弟弟出意外一只眼看不见了,“杨”负了独眼龙)马文宾(马的文章)郝伏生(好伏击学生)柳小林(建立柳的小林)宋玉林(送个环绕的林同学王玉环)张国前 。物理与信息技术系物教班学生人名表:1号王伯虎(都说唐伯虎点秋香)2号李宗启(将宗室启发我爷爷假死在大年初一)3号苏东东(将东部苏醒跑到中国的东部保定)4号焦龙(焦龙与现教班王倩找对象,教大龙与王欠着)[我估计开始先告知了我的家族,我是养女,是有人打了或撞了我弟弟再告诉他让我妈高了郝伏生好进行计划]





March 30, 2014
Click to view roypie's profile

I want to add my "theory" about the Malasian flight.

as a retired pilot, I feel we need to think like a terrorist, so here's my hunch. although baggage handlers are "bonded" someone could access the plane thru the baggage area. By moving to the front under the cockpit, he can access all the radios and navigation boxes from below. It would be easy to shut down the nav and comm radios without being seen. and without the pilots knowledge. He could literally control the plane by insert a reroute program. the "terrorist" would not be detected as he would not be on the flight crew or passenger list. He then could release his bottle of serran or whatever poison which would travel throughout the plane as the AC circulates the air. i would not be surpirsed that it may have been done as an easy way to control the plane, buypass security and be undetected. it may be possible that this was done as a test and it would be the next way of reliving 911.  

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