Citizen Journalism Dying on CNN?


More than half a decade ago, with much fanfare, CNN, the international news network, introduced an experiment in citizen journalism called iReport. The forum was a way for people to submit breaking news, commentary, opinion, pictures, videos, recipes, almost anything you might find in a newspapers lifestyle section or letters to the editor page.

During the presidential elections of 2008 and 2012, iReport was hopping and a veritable cauldron of activity of a political nature. The conversations could become quite heated at times. With the anonymity of a username, hiding behind firewalls and not easily discovered IP addresses, some of the users, members of the news community network, became not only very vociferous and verbose, but could be cutting, ferocious and outright personally bullying at times.

Many of those who jab and cut with personal insults, slurs and innuendo were banned. But many also returned with new usernames and new avatars.

The iReport community grew from a predominantly US forum into a global forum. Photos and videos continue to be a major stock for the network. But the loudest and most unruly slice of the iReport community remains those speaking out on politics and policy centered on the US political scene.

Where once iReport was prominently linked on CNN’s main page, today you have to search to find the link. Where once you would see the familiar iReport logo on broadcast TV on various current events and headlines, now it is rare to never for inclusion from iReport.

Is it the lack of civility by some who participate with iReport which has the community becoming the proverbial “redheaded step-child”?

Are the personal slaps, the intense bullying, by some members of the community, becoming too much for CNN to continue its experiment in citizen journalism?

Has iReport become a financial liability rather than income generating?

Will iReport resurge as the 2016 presidential race heats up?

Are iReporters, who work to bring items of interest, stories to intrigue, input from another angle, photos and videos to delight, becoming disillusioned as some iReporters tend to interject discord and go off-topic with each post?

From the Cornfield, how soon will iReport end up in exile in the Desert with me?