Tuesday, October 21, 2008

iReport: i can't believe it!

Fade up the theme music to 2001: A Space Odyssey. 

CNN is posting unfettered, unedited, unfiltered user-generated content on its iReport site. This is the first time I've seen a major news organization reach this far into the scary underbelly of participatory journalism. Sure, news sites solicit video and pics from cell phones, but they get edited and vetted. This is the unadulterated stuff. 

What can I say: this is bold. And what does it mean for the broadcast journalism profession when people are doing this stuff for free? This raises a lot of questions, opens the door into the Great Terrifying Unknown. Either this project will die a miserable death - or will it transform journalism. It will reveal our incredible potential as humans to connect with one another in a meaningful way - or it will expose our inability to show individual responsibility for information production. 

It is a new world. I hope we'll be brave about how we exercise our power within it. 

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