CNN’s iReport turns 5

CNN.com’s iReport, its community-driven journalism effort, is celebrating its fifth anniversary.

CNN has seen considerable success with iReport, using it to help cover a wide range of events. The service has also proven a particularly useful way to obtain images, video and first-hand accounts for news stories that, whether due to technology limitations or oppressive governments, would have been more difficult to cover.

“For nearly every major news event of the last five years — from the 2007 shooting on the campus of Virginia Tech to today’s uprisings in the Middle East — iReporters have shared first-person views of the stories they lived through, and changed the way the rest of us understood what happened and what we should think about it. More than that, though, iReport has led the way for inventing a model for a news organization to report and tell the story of an event together with its audience,” said Lila King, CNN’s participation director.

iReport also made headlines in 2008 when CNN paid a reported $750,000 for the domain iReport.com for launching a standalone website.

Since then, the iReport site has been more tightly integrated into the main CNN.com site.

Meanwhile, the citizen journalism efforts at other cable networks haven’t quite panned out like planned.

uReport,” Fox News Channel’s community based reporting feature, is still alive and kicking but hasn’t had, as of this writing, a new report posted in four days (at least according to its “Most Recent” tab). Likewise, MSNBC’s “First Person” has basically become a way for users to share photos and “memories” that, more often than not, have only a fleeting connection to the news of the day.

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