The Rise of iReporting

by Shawn Paul Wood

CNN published a story recently about...well, itself. In the story, they mention its "taking it to the streets. CNN iReport has reached more than one million registered contributors

To most people, this story would not matter. In fact, most would not have heard about it. However, this concerns me about this profession. With the meteoric rise of reality stars, many other common folk have dumped their plans for career advancement and being a model citizen for a sniff of those 15 hallowed minutes of "fame." 

As a proud flack, I am encountered with a daily plight of getting to know journalists and media types on a personal basis as to escape the "I didn't get your call and please resend that email" blues. Additionally, I have great clients that would like to gain additional awareness and trust me to make that happen. 

The economy is terrible. People I consider friends are getting laid off in the media. And yet, this user-generated content is becoming more popular than Demi Moore at a high school graduation party. You can't form relationships with these iReporters who think crowdsourcing choppy video from an iPhone about a Kardashian sighting is "newsworthy." More importantly, CNN admits (according to Poynter's Craig Silverman) admits its vetts "only eight percent of the 500-plus iReport stories it receives daily." 

No editors. No accountability. No credibility. And this is the wave of the future? News is instant and the public's demand for that news is insatiable. However, is news in the hands of people who don't understand it really a good thing? What do you think? 

Maybe I'm just old school but if someone tells me they don't get paid to do a job, I'm thinking that's about the quality I'm going to get. 


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