I-Report and The Huffington Post

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From Humanitarian-FOSS Project Development Site

Contents

I-Report

I-Report Logo
I-Report Logo

Content

I-Report is CNN's citizen news feed. Its coverage includes everything from the current antics regarding the 2008 election process, the Chinese New Year celebrations, tourism in Kenya, and Microsoft's bid for Yahoo!. There are roughly 160 articles, all with picture icons. I-Report allows users to submit their news via computer or cell phone. Data files are accepted from the computer while video and audio are accepted from the cell phone. I-Report encourages citizen's to submit their news and provides trade secrets, tips for submitting data, to increase the quality of reports.

According to CNN, they have already recieved more than 100,000 video, photo, and text submissions since first launching I-Report in 2006. I-Report includes all submitted content but editors do get to decide which reports make it to CNN.com and network broadcasts. So far, CNN reports that about 10 percent of submitted content is published with it's more mainstream outlets. Users can browse content by most viewed, highest rated, newest, and a variety of other filters. Additionally, the site uses tags for browsing stories about specific topics.[1]

I-Report is also providing incentive to its best citizen journalists, establishing a “Superstars” area that features the top 20% of I-Reporters, based on a formula to determine the quality of their contributions. The rating of submissions has attracted the attention of aspiring journalists as new way to gain acclaim in the competitive job market and has helped elevate the standard of submissions.

Terms of Use

Despite being open source, CNN clearly states: "Employees (and their immediate families and household members) of CNN and its parent, subsidiaries, divisions, and affiliated entities are not eligible to submit material. By submitting your material, for good and valuable consideration, the sufficiency and receipt of which you hereby acknowledge, you hereby grant to CNN and its affiliates a non-exclusive, perpetual, worldwide license to edit, telecast, rerun, reproduce, use, syndicate, license, print, sublicense, distribute and otherwise exhibit the materials you submit, or any portion thereof, as incorporated in any of their programming or the promotion thereof, in any manner and in any medium or forum, whether now known or hereafter devised, without payment to you or any third party.[2]"

Restrictions on Allowable Content

In their FAQ section on I-Report, CNN describes the restrictions on allowable content: " Our "Terms of Use" stipulate that you may not submit material that is licensed or copyrighted to another party. Users also may not submit pornography, advertisements, or materials otherwise irrelevant to newsgathering. Additionally, CNN reserves the right, at any time, in its sole discretion, to refuse transmission of any material submitted to CNN."

Network Programming

News to Me is network television show aired on Headline News Saturdays and Sundays at 12:30 p.m. ET and 5:30 p.m. ET. Hosted by Eric Lanford, the show features the week's best viewer-submitted content, along with other videos supplied by Blip.tv, Jumpcut.com, and Revver.com. News to Me highlights the growing attention being given to citizen journalism in the mainstream media and the increasing demand by the public for alternative news outlets.

I-Report Exclusive

Since it's 2006 inception, I-Report has already proven the value of citizen journalism. On April 16, 2007, graduate student Jamal Albarghouti captured scenes of the Virginia Tech massacre with his Nokia N70.[3]

On August 1, 2007, citizen journalism provided incredible video and pictures of the I-35W Mississippi River Bridge collapse. "The bridge collapse provided the most citizen journalism thus far, showing that ubiquitous phone cameras will actually yield content important to news organizations."[4]

Further Resources

I-Report also offers a comprehensive section that is currently following the 2008 election. The site offers readable tables and statistics, a countdown to the next primary, candidate profiles (higlighting campaign funding, candidate standpoints on different issues, charts of candidate progress throughout their campaigns, etc.) and much more.

Navigation

I-Report uses formatting similar to that of other established online news sources, with categories at the top (such as "Home", "World", "US", "Politics", "Crime", "Entertainment", "Health", "Living", etc.) and, following the selection of one of these headings, further sub-categories to aid in the refining of a search (e.g. under the "Politics" page, one is presented with the options "Primaries", "Candidates", "Elections 101", "Issues", "Money", "Debates", etc. as well as further "Hot Topics" choices directly above such as "Election Center 2008", "The Political Ticker", "Hillary Clinton", "John McCain", and more.)

The Huffington Post

Huffington Post Logo
Huffington Post Logo

History

The Huffington Post was founded on May 9, 2005 by Arianna Huffington and Kenneth Lerer. It was originally described as a blog site, containing blogs from friends of Huffington; however, the scope of the more commonly called HuffPo expanded well beyond its isolated blog site roots and expanded into a national syndicated blog and news source.

About the Huffington Post

The Huffington Post is an independent citizen news feed. It has five categories for news articles and blog posts: Politics, Media, Business, Entertainment, and Living. It also has a link to another news site, 23/6 which boasts, "Some of the news / Most of the time."

Content

HuffPo limits its articles to national news, with politics consisting of a large percentage of its coverage. HuffPo even takes fragments of information received from its sources to make one larger and more informative article. For example, an article titled, "Saturday Election Results Roundup" cited 18 other sources. HuffPo carries a range of styles from truly unbiased articles to more casually written articles with clear political intentions. Quite visibly, the focus of the "Politics" division of HuffPo is skewed towards coverage of Democrat politicians. On the Februray 20th "Politics" page on HuffPo, there are 6 mentions of McCain and 1 of Huckabee out of approximately 60 news stories dealing directly with candidates. Partially because of this disparity in coverage and partially from a general lack of organization, the Politics page on HuffPo is a perfect example of how HuffPo can be hard to navigate.

Navigation

HuffPo can be difficult to navigate considering how hard it is for readers to refine their searches. A typical page on HuffPo has no method of organization (no grouping by categories/content) and readers can find themselves scrolling through dozens of blogs before finding one that is pertinent to the topic they're looking for. This would be less of an important problem if people were simply linking to specific blogs from a search engine, but it does not lend itself to easy reading for a online-newspaper demanding readership.

Development

The Huffington Post recently invested in Vlogging, or video blogging, with many HuffPo bloggers contributing via video or posting clips of what they have found on the web.

Terms of Use

The comment policy for The Huffington Post does not discriminate against any political points of view, or ideological points of view. According to their FAQ: Comments & Moderation page, comments with the following "transgressions" are deleted:
• are abusive, off-topic, use excessive foul language
• include ad hominem attacks including comments that celebrate the death or illness of any person, public figure or otherwise
• contain racist, sexist, homophobic and other slurs
• are solicitations and/or advertising for personal blogs and websites
• are posted with the explicit intention of provoking other commenters or the staff at Huffington Post."
Links from each commenter provide access to their profile page, where viewers can see what other comments they've written on which articles. Readership includes many different loyal fans, most of them posting comments on at least ten or more different articles or blogs. One of the bloggers is Rosie O'Donnell, who has a fairly loyal following. Some of the bloggers are well-informed of politics and other news, some are simply having fun, and others are doctors trying to help common problems, like Dr. Rock Positano writing on Winter Depression (Otherwise Known As SAD).

Other Citizen News Feeds

ABC: iCaught
FoxNews: uReport
MSNBC: First Person
Wikimedia: Wikinews
AOL's: TMZ
MySpace's: MySpace News
The Superficial
Digg

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