A new chapter for CNN iReport »

We're in the midst of an exciting time here at CNN iReport. Last year we discovered the power of the personal essay, with countless compelling stories written by you, our talented community; we produced more iReport content for CNN Digital than ever before, including in-depth investigative stories that you first alerted us to; and we experimented with new methods of real-time audience interaction, including Google Hangouts on a variety of fascinating topics.

 

Of course, with growth comes change. After many discussions and careful consideration, we've decided to not host the CNN iReport Awards this year. We launched the Awards back in 2011 as a way to celebrate citizen journalism and honor our community's contributions. Since that time, we have honored dozens of impressive iReporters and have shown the world that iReport encompasses not only breaking news, but also commentary, interviews, personal stories, photo essays, original reporting, and in-depth storytelling.

 

The iReport Awards have been a labor of love over the years. Not hosting the Awards this year will allow our small but mighty team to produce even more compelling stories and fun projects with our community; to stay on top of the latest news and trends; and, most importantly, to work towards exciting and much-needed technical improvements to the site. We’ve got some exciting stuff planned for the year ahead, and look forward to sharing it with you all.

 

Thank you to all of you who are members of the amazing iReport community, and congratulations again to all of our past Awards recipients and nominees.  You have helped build a worldwide network of creative, curious and smart people who have shown time and again that news stories affect all of us. We are so excited to continue sharing and telling your stories, in bigger and better ways than ever before.

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katie
// March 3, 2014
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Meet Maggie, our spring intern »

 

We’re excited to introduce you to a new member of the iReport crew! Our spring intern, Maggie Blaha, left snowy New Jersey for sunny Atlanta, or so she thought.

 

During this week’s rare snow and ice, Maggie has already been busy contributing to our breaking news coverage. We asked her to write a little bit about herself now that things are thawing out. iReport community, meet Maggie:

 

Hi! I'm Maggie, and I'm very excited to be joining the iReport Team this spring. I am a graduate student in Concordia University's Master of International Studies program, and I have completed most of my coursework in China. Living in China was an eye-opening experience but not one I would care to relive. It did give me a lot to write about, though.

 

I guess I could best be described as a romantic hipster. I like being poor and traveling and doing what I want. I'm one of those people who thinks she was born in the wrong decade, which explains my distaste for ebooks, love of record players and unhealthy obsession with “Downton Abbey.” I have my heart set on becoming a journalist and am looking forward to learning all I can from Team iReport.

 

Say hello to Maggie in the comments below! We’re thrilled to have her as part of the team.

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zdan
// January 31, 2014
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Team iReport remembers Rick Huffman »

 

 

It's with heavy hearts that we share the news that Rick Huffman, a CNN iReport Award recipient and longtime contributor, died on Sunday, in St. Joseph, Michigan. He was 64.

 

Many of you knew him as Logan248, the ex-military ex-law enforcement iReporter who wasn’t afraid to share his views on the issues of the day, and discussed everything under the sun with his friends in the iReport community.

 

Back in May, Huffman received an iReport Award for a video he filmed about a year ago, in response to the deadly shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. A longtime NRA member, he cut up his card on camera in tribute to those lost.

 

Huffman also actively posted commentary during the 2012 presidential campaign, taking part in that year’s iReport Debate.

 

Unfortunately, Huffman informed us in October that he had been diagnosed with brain cancer and didn’t have much longer to live. According to The Herald-Palladium, he passed away at home on December 1, with his wife by his side.

 

Team iReport extends our thoughts and condolences to Huffman’s friends and family, and to those of you who knew him in the iReport community. Thank you for all you contributed to iReport, Rick. You'll be greatly missed.

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hhanks
// December 4, 2013
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Team iReport is looking for a summer 2014 intern »

 

Calling all young, eager journalists! Are you a college student who’s been dreaming of working at CNN iReport? You’re in luck. We’re looking for an intern to join our team at the CNN Center in Atlanta, Georgia, this summer.

 

This full-time, paid experience lasts about 12 weeks, from early June to the beginning of August, and is open to college students currently enrolled in school. Course credit is available, and preference is given to students who have previously contributed to CNN iReport.

 

The CNN iReport intern is a valuable member of our editorial team. In addition to vetting iReports, writing stories, producing galleries, and joining in brainstorming and editorial planning, interns will also have the opportunity to learn from a host of CNN professionals in various departments.

 

Sound exciting? Click here for more details and to formally apply. The deadline for applications is Monday, January 6.

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zdan
// November 27, 2013
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Meet Cydney, our fall intern »

 

We’ve got a new face on the iReport team! Cydney Fisher is our fall intern and we’re delighted to have her working with us.

 

Cydney joined the site in 2012 and has been an active iReporter since then. We asked her to pen a short bio introducing herself to the community:

 

I am a senior majoring in Comparative Women’s Studies at Spelman College. Finding the journalism world quite intriguing, I am soaking up all I can to prepare myself for a career in journalism. I try to be a versatile one-woman journalist, and have delved into anchoring and reporting as well as some behind the scenes work as a cinematographer for the local student run station, Tiger Television, at Morehouse College, our brother school next door.

 

But, my real passion is photography. I currently serve as the photography editor for the Maroon Tiger Newspaper at Morehouse College, and I’m the only student photographer for the Office of Student Life. Previously, I was a photography fellow for non-profit organization Outdoor Nation. In my free time, I have made it my mission to document the world around me with my camera. I am super excited to be an iReport intern, and am eager to learn as much as I can about all things CNN.

 

Be sure to say hello to Cydney! If you’re lucky, you may just get a call from her asking about your iReport.

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zdan
// October 1, 2013
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Team iReport is looking for a spring 2014 intern  »

Are you a college student waiting to dive into the world of CNN iReport? Today’s your lucky day. We’re looking for an intern to join our team at the CNN Center in Atlanta, Georgia, this spring.

This full-time, paid experience lasts about 12 weeks, from late January to early April, and is open to college students currently enrolled in school. Course credit is available, and preference is given to students who have previously contributed to CNN iReport.

The CNN iReport intern is a valuable member of our editorial team. In addition to vetting iReports, writing stories, producing galleries, and joining in brainstorming and editorial planning, interns will also have the opportunity to learn from a host of CNN professionals in various departments.

Sound like your dream job? Click here for more details and to formally apply. The deadline for applications is Sunday, October 27.

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Jareen
// September 27, 2013
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Roundtable: Everyday racism »

To mark the 50-year anniversary of the March on Washington and Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, we hosted a Google Hangout last Thursday to discuss race relations in America. We were delighted to have diversity consultant and veteran iReporter Omekongo Dibinga and Brown University Professor of Africana Studies Tricia Rose join us for what was a frank and enlightening discussion.

 

 

The video chat was part of our Everyday Racism project. You can check out the full interactive and explore the hundreds of submissions we received.

 

Thank you to all of you who shared personal stories and asked great questions during the Google Hangout. For those who weren’t able to catch the live roundtable, we encourage you to watch the video below and post your comments here on the blog. We look forward to keeping the conversation going.

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hhanks
// September 5, 2013
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Roundtable: Verifying user-generated content »

Have you ever wondered how CNN verifies the constant flow of information, images and video on social media and iReport to get them on air and online? If so, you’re in luck.

In our August roundtable, CNN iReport’s senior producer, Katie Hawkins-Gaar and CNN Digital News editor Justin Lear discuss how CNN sorts through what’s real and what’s not -- including the back story on one of the most incredible iReports of 2012.

How can you tell if a photo is real or manipulated? What technology is used to determine authenticity? What kind of questions do we ask during the vetting process? We cover all of these topics and more. Watch the video below.

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hhanks
// August 6, 2013
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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.

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hhanks
// July 9, 2013
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Team iReport is looking for a fall 2013 intern »

Calling all young, aspiring journalists! Are you a college student hungry for a piece of CNN iReport pie? You’re in luck because we’re looking for one lucky intern to join our team at CNN Center in Atlanta, Georgia, this fall.

 

This full-time, paid experience lasts about 12 weeks and is open to college students currently enrolled in school. Course credit is available, and preference is given to students who have previously contributed to CNN iReport.

 

The CNN iReport intern is a valuable member of our editorial team. In addition to vetting iReports, writing stories, producing galleries, and joining in brainstorming and editorial planning, interns will also have the opportunity to learn from a host of CNN professionals in various departments.

 

Sound exciting? Click here for more details and to formally apply. The deadline for applications is Friday, July 19.

Posted by:
 
zdan
// July 3, 2013
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Meet Julia! Our summer intern »

 

Hooray! There is a fresh face on team iReport! Our summer intern, Julia Carpenter, joined us a few days ago and she is already vetting breaking news stories and creating topical assignments. We are clearly keeping her busy.

Amidst all the work, we asked Julia to write a little bit about herself. She's got an impressive background and we wanted her to share a bit about herself with the rest of the community:

Hi, I'm Julia. I'm an English and journalism student at the University of Georgia and will be graduating from the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication in December.

I've reported on sexual harassment scandals, reviewed Dorito's tacos (they were "sad and sandy"), Storified local elections and interviewed the guy behind the New York Times haiku.

Prior to iReport, I worked at Esquire.com, ELLE magazine and The New York Daily News. Also, I worked at The Red & Black, my college newspaper.

Last month, I traveled through Japan with the Roy W. Howard National Collegiate Reporting Competition and am now a hopeless sushi snob. My perfect Saturday involves at least three of the following: friends, family, Diet Coke and Atlanta Braves baseball. I'm looking forward to working with the iReport community and connecting with its members on Twitter and Tumblr.

Say hello to Julia in the comments below! We're excited to welcome her to the team.

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Jareen
// June 7, 2013
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iReporters prove critical in CNN's tornado coverage »

We would like to say a big thank you to all the iReporters who have been sharing their eyewitness accounts from Monday’s devastating tornado in Moore, Oklahoma. CNN iReporters have been all over the air helping our network cover the story of the storm and its aftermath.

Tuesday

Jeff Lechus, who captured up-close video of the tornado, spoke by phone with CNN and HLN about his treacherous journey to get to his son’s school. Power lines were blocking the road as far as the eye could see, he said. He got to the school and found that the tornado had hit the gym, but no one was hurt. "Thirteen, 14-year-old girls came out holding hands, just bawling their eyes out."

 

Anderson Cooper talked on the scene with iReporter Swey Boyd, who works at a doctor's office and stayed in her Honda Accord during the storm. After surviving her first tornado, she headed home but then pulled over and tried to help residents in a neighborhood behind Interstate 35. "It was difficult to realize that there were some people you couldn't help, that you had to wait for professionals. And you just had to tell them, 'It's OK, there will be help on the way."

Stay-at-home mom Rebecca Vitsmun also appeared live from Moore, recounting her narrow escape with her 18-month-old son in her arms. It was pretty cute when the toddler gave Wolf Blitzer a high five. There was an awkward moment when Blitzer later asked if she thanked the Lord and she gracefully explained she was an atheist. The "atheist" moment sparked a lot of buzz online. (And it wasn’t the first time an atheist mom on iReport has sparked a big conversation!)

Wednesday

Nurse Rex Pace, an iReporter who hiked into Moore, Oklahoma and stayed to help try to find victims, spoke with CNN's Chris Cuomo about what he had seen. "I’ve seen a lot of blood and guts and gore in my job, but I’ve never seen any destruction to this degree. It was unreal," Pace told him.

In one of the most dramatic videos we've ever seen uploaded to iReport, Juan Olivo captured the moment rescuers heard the voice of a tornado victim trapped in the rubble. "I can't believe he survived," Olivo told Wolf Blitzer.

Thanks again to the iReporters who shared their stories with CNN. Please take note – getting footage should never come before your personal safety. We urge you to take precaution when documenting any severe weather.

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dsashin
// May 22, 2013
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Congratulations! The Awards go to ... »

The recipients of the 3rd Annual iReport Awards have been announced!

 

We've said it before, but one more time won’t hurt: The overall quality of photography, videography and storytelling represented in this year’s iReport Awards was outstanding. Citizen journalism has come a long way since CNN iReport’s humble beginnings in 2006, and the Award recipients are a wonderful testament to that.

 

Without further ado, here they are:

 

Breaking news: Hasan Amin, Egyptian revolution rages on

Original reporting: Nicolas Rossier, One breath: Story of a free diver

Commentary: Richard Huffman, My tribute to those lost in Newtown

Compelling Imagery: Judy Starkman, Secret lives of swimmers

Personal Story: Sam Wessels, I speak about autism because I can

In-depth Storytelling: Carlos Chiossone, Superstorm Sandy stories

Community Choice: Erik Olsen, The shoe cobbler

 

That’s not all!

 

For the first time ever, we revealed honorees in a new category called Excellence on the Web. These are six examples of the best in citizen journalism outside of iReport in 2012, and we couldn’t be prouder to honor such impressive examples of participatory journalism.

 

You may wonder why we’d honor stories outside of iReport: A big responsibility of the iReport team is listening to the conversations and stories that take place on and outside of CNN iReport. We’re curators at heart, and this new category allows us to share even more incredible examples of participatory storytelling with the world. Plus, no other major news outlet is recognizing excellence in citizen journalism in this way.

 

Here are the honorees: (Go here to read more about each entry.)

 

Humans of New York: Hurricane Sandy: Brandon Stanton, Tumblr

SyrianDeveloper: Mike Blackhatoviche, Instagram

Wright's Law: Zach Conkle, Vimeo

@aiww: Ai Weiwei, Twitter

San Diego fireworks, loud and up close: Dan W. Roy, YouTube

Jersey Shore Hurricane News: Justin Auciello, Facebook

 

Last but not least, we are thrilled to announce the 3rd Annual iReport Awards Spirit Honorees. These six honored iReporters – Jannet Walsh, Misael Rincón, Rachel Cauvin, Jim Jorstad, Lia Ocampo and Jim Brenneman – are wonderful members of our community, sharing stories that resonate with a wide audience and taking the time to make CNN iReport such a warm and special place. They’re the folks that make running this site such a fulfilling experience, and we couldn’t thank them enough!

 

Congratulations to all of the recipients and honorees. We are so impressed with all of you and are already eager to do it again next year. We’re nerds for citizen journalism – it’s true.

 

Now we're off to sneak a celebratory bottle of champagne into the newsroom. Cheers to you all!

Posted by:
 
katie
// May 14, 2013
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CNN iReport Facebook roundtable Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. ET »

You hear so much about kids with autism, but adults on the spectrum have their own struggles, and the workplace can be one of them. After we received two iReports on this topic, we decided to pursue it further.

 


So, on Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. ET, the last day of Autism Awareness Month, we will be holding a roundtable chat on CNN’s Facebook page on autism and Asperger’s in the workplace. iReporters and experts will be taking your questions and sharing their experiences in a discussion on this subject and the challenges they’ve seen. We'd also like to hear about your views and experiences as well.


Joining us will be Dave Wellman of Myriad Genetics, who has worked with and managed employees with Asperger's syndrome; Becky Ketts of Nobis Works - which provides job training for those with disabilities and other barriers;  and iReporter Sarah Still, who recently iReported on her personal challenges with Asperger's.

 


We hope to hear from you tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. on CNN’s Facebook and look forward to your contributions to our discussion!

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hhanks
// April 29, 2013
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iReport millionaires' club: Congratulations Omekongo Dibinga! »

We like to give a virtual toast whenever one of our contributors hits 1 million page views. This time, we're proud to honor Omekongo Dibinga, a two-time iReport Award nominee and master pundit.

Besides being a motivational speaker and spoken-word performer, he is a social activist, married with two daughters — a recent iReport talks about how he and his wife balance their personal dreams with their daughters' needs -- a PhD student at the University of Maryland (his dissertation is "an intellectual history of Jay-Z"), as well as a faithful iReport cheerleader. He is also a teaching assistant at Georgetown University for Michael Eric Dyson's very popular sociology class devoted to Jay Z ( “Sociology of Hip-Hop — Urban Theodicy of Jay-Z").

Dibinga has taken a hard look at his own feelings toward women and shared his thoughts on President Obama's 2012 DNC speech at the convention itself, to name only a few of his most memorable moments in iReport punditry. He's even weighed in on another of his passions, comic books, from time to time.

Dibinga is currently nominated for an iReport Award in the Commentary category for his feelings about the Jerry Sandusky sex-abuse case (view below).

So here's to one of our top iReport pundits, and here's to one million more to come!


Posted by:
 
hhanks
// April 9, 2013
 14 comments // Add a comment
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