By DOMENICA A. LEONE
The world of professional journalism, with specialists trained in universities and prepared to offer news to meet the five classic questions of who, what, when, where and why, is undergoing a complete transformation.
Advances in digital technology and the wide spread reach of the Internet have certainly led to a new era of journalism that which we may call “citizen journalism.”
Not a day goes by that we aren’t bombarded by an endless succession of tweets, social media, blogs and video clips, all generated by citizens, but that still follows the prevailing principle of news reporting: To inform.
Aside from social media, which have now become one of the greatest allies of newsrooms for discovering and delivering news, we found major news organizations creating their very unique “apps” and sections to its websites for citizens to submit information, videos or photos of any relevant incident they have witnessed.
For example, there is CNN with its iReport site, which has been extremely successful by doing so, so far. Still not many know about this wonderful news coverage application.
CNN’s iReport was born in 2006 as a citizen journalism project that was later bolstered with the help of professionals to standardize the content. Currently the site receives about 15,000 monthly contributions, of which about 10 percent are used as content for traditional programming news network.
Basically what it is, is a “social network” for news. The news organizations can later take advantage of any and all of the content, especially for breaking stories. It allows for people to share the stories happening around them; where the cameras are not able to reach in time or the media do not get to find out the occurrence of a particular down-to-the minute news break, and thus still be able to capture it for communicating it to the world.
Certainly the iReport toolkit is that which best meets all the characteristics at the time of transmitting information, whether for written media, television channels, radio stations or citizens. In other words we could describe it as a social media in steroids. Yet, reputable and reliable.
So, want to be part of CNN’s news coverage? Now you know you are just one step away of possibly being featured by this prestigious newsroom.