Posts Tagged ‘cnn’

CNN launches Web site for citizen journalists

February 12, 2008

Since CNN embraced the citizen journalist movement in August 2006 with the launch of its iReport initiative, the news organization has received nearly 100,000 news-related photos and videos from viewers.Yet fewer than 10% of those submissions have appeared on CNN.com or the cable channel.

That’s all about to change. CNN this week will enter YouTube territory with iReport.com, a new site built entirely on user-produced news. And unlike CNN’s own properties — where only iReport submissions that have been handpicked by editors and checked for accuracy ever make it online or on air — the new site will be wide open, allowing users to post whatever content they choose, CNN said.

The new site looks and feels much like YouTube and other video-centric destinations. Aspiring Anderson Coopers can upload videos, photos and audio files through an easy-to-use interface. Visitors to the site can search for specific clips or sift through various news categories, such as politics or weather. Users also can rate and share clips and even embed them on their own sites.

CNN executives acknowledge that iReport.com’s openness is something of a departure for a news organization that prides itself on accuracy and editorial judgment. But iReports have become increasingly popular, and in many cases have even proved beneficial in the reporting of breaking news. Some of the most compelling footage from last April’s shootings on the Virginia Tech campus came from the 420 user-generated video clips CNN received, while last year’s California wildfires yielded more than 11,000 submissions.

So a user-generated site is the logical next step, said Jim Walton, president of CNN Worldwide. “It starts with the audience,” he said. “Audiences are more and more comfortable participating in news. It’s a natural extension for us.”

Walton acknowledged that he and others at the news net don’t quite know how iReport will evolve once users warm up to the site. But CNN officials are banking on the Web’s community aspects to boost the venture, as well as to determine which content belongs and which doesn’t.

“The community will decide what the news is,” said Susan Grant, executive vp CNN News Services. “We are not going to discourage or encourage anything. . . . iReport will be completely unvetted.” (CNN will, however, monitor the site for objectionable content.

Grant explained that iReport content will be clearly labeled as not necessarily reflecting the editorial views of CNN. “We’ll be telling people in lots of different ways that it’s a post-moderated site,” she said.

To encourage participation, the network has begun reaching out to frequent iReport contributors such as Rick Ebrecht, a Savannah, Ga., resident whose clips of violent storms and a recent space shuttle launch ran on CNN.

Regulars like Ebrecht — who estimates that he’s submitted seven or eight photos to CNN, with five or six making the cut — will be able to use iReport.com to establish profiles and possibly develop a following among other users. “It’s great that people can submit whatever they want,” he said. “It engages them.”

Still, Ebrecht wondered about the site’s lack of policing. “The first thing that came to mind is ethics and credibility,” he said. “People have to not take things at face value. People (on the site) will have to keep an eye on each other.”

Advertisers, too, are likely to keep a close eye on the site, though Grant downplayed the importance of monetizing the site at the outset. “We’re going to start very, very small,” she said.

Initially, that means just a single display ad on the site’s home page and no pre-roll video ads.

“I don’t know if we’re ever going to have them,” she added.

That’s likely to change if media buyers have their way, said Craig Woerz, managing partner at Media Storm. Woerz had not yet seen iReport.com but liked the idea of tapping into user-generated news so long as controls were in place.

“We love it,” he said. “That’s exactly the kind of thing our advertisers are looking for. What we like about citizen journalism is that it’s emotional and real.”

Woerz applauded CNN’s willingness to experiment. “They have to (try things like this),” he said. “Ratings are challenged right now. News organizations can’t count on elections every day or a bridge collapsing. They need to keep innovating.”

Grant agreed. “We like being first,” she said. “This is an opportunity to create a relationship with a global audience.”

Kingfisher’s Vijay Mallya on CNN’s Talk Asia

November 25, 2007

MUMBAI: UB Group chairman Vijay Mallya will be seen on air in CNN’s half hour chat show, Talk Asia this weekend.
Mallya is ranked on the Forbes ‘The World’s Billionaires’ list with a net fortune of $1.5 billion. His business interests range from scotch whiskey and beer to commercial aviation and Formula 1 racing.
On this weekend’s Talk Asia, Mallya takes CNN’s Anjali Rao on his private jet before touring his palatial seaside retreat in Goa. India’s ‘King of good times’ discusses how he manages his business portfolio, in addition to giving his view on India’s economic boom and dealing with his high-profile ‘playboy’ image.

Talk Asia is CNN’s half an hour chat show hosted by Rao every weekend to explore the personalities behind the newsmakers in the fields of arts, politics, sports and business as they share their views on issues concerning the Asia Pacific region.

Show schedule:
24 November at 6 pm and 9.30 pm
25 November 25 at 7 pm and 7.30 pm

CNN to invest in expanding newsgathering network

November 17, 2007

MUMBAI: In the biggest expansion of international newsgathering resources in its 27-year history, CNN Worldwide has announced plans to significantly increase the number of correspondents worldwide, open a regional newsgathering hub in the United Arab Emirates, invest in a London-based digital-production unit, and make major investments in CNN’s International Newsource and CNN’s in-house wire operations.

CNN International executive VP, MD Tony Maddox says, “This is all about owning more content; these new resources will have a huge impact across all of CNN’s networks and platforms. Owning the content we broadcast, publish and make available to affiliates and other platforms is the backbone of this business. This multi-million dollar investment in staff and resources bolster our world-class, award-winning journalism as well as give us the power to move swiftly into developing new business models.”

New operations are also planned for India, Afghanistan, Belgium, Kenya, Malaysia, Nigeria, the Philippines, Poland and Vietnam. CNN will also appoint two new correspondents for the network’s Johannesburg bureau and add an additional correspondent at both its London and Istanbul bureaus.

Investments are underway in CNN’s Asia Pacific newsgathering hub in Hong Kong to increase staffing, and the network plans to assign additional correspondents in Beijing, Jakarta and Pakistan.

At the same time, CNN is also revitalizing its Tokyo bureau to encompass additional reporting duties in South Korea to work within the current structure.

CNN will expand both its newsgathering and production facilities in the United Arab Emirates, bringing to bear more resources across the region in terms of programming and reporting, including more business coverage.

CNN is also expanding its international online services with the creation of a digital production unit that will be primarily based in London, with additional staffing also in Hong Kong and Atlanta. This unit will produce and feed the rapidly growing number of new platforms that CNN services globally. This team will work alongside the television operation and will be responsible for providing content for CNN International, CNNArabic.com, CNNMobile and new CNN services on TV-to-broadband sites.

CNN’s International Newsource operation will also expand to provide additional editorial, content and newsgathering services to CNN’s more than 1,000 affiliates worldwide. CNN’s in-house wire service is also being strengthened with additional staff to ensure swift and accurate dissemination of all of the additional material becoming available across all of CNN Worldwide services and networks.

In Mexico, CNN en Español will strengthen its presence with the hiring of an anchor and correspondent and an additional editor working from the network’s Mexico City newsgathering bureau and production center. CNN en Español also will add to its editorial team in Atlanta to better service the increased volume of affiliate and stringer content and the development of new digital services.