CNN’s iReport Had 1 Million Page Views on Monday: Iran Crisis is “Enormous Moment in Citizen Journalism”

By on 06/25/2009 8:40 AM @beet_tv

CNN's iReport popularity as a destination has surged with the Iran crisis. A CNN spokeswoman citing internal numbers told me that page views for the iReport reached 1 million on Monday. 

Nielsen put the monthly unique visitors to iReport at 1.8 million.

But beyond the emergence of the CNN user-generated-site as a destination, it has become an essential part of CNN's coverage of the crisis in Iran where virtually all western journalists are banned from covering street demonstrations.

Over the past week, some 5,000 Iran-related videos and photos have been uploaded to iReport. These reports are unfiltered.  About 150 of these citizen contributions have been used on the air or on CNN.com after being vetted and verified by the network.

Double Sourcing UGC at CNN

Yesterday I interviewed Lila King, senior producer at CNN.com, who oversees iReport.  I interviewed her in the CNN newsroom in Atlanta via a Skype Video hook-up from our New York studio.

Lila says election dispute in Iran has become and an "enormous moment in citizen journalism."  One of the most important developments is how citizen journalism is being authenticated, often by double sources, to corroborate the veracity of the submitted content before being used by the network.

For an in depth examination of how mainstream media is dealing with UGC from Iran, notably the "Neda" video, check out this post by Bill Mitchell up on Poynter.

Update:  More on the evolution of iReport by Peter Kafka at All Things D.

Andy Plesser, Executive Producer

Video Transcript

Lila King:  What's happening around Iran is really because CNN and, you know, every major news organization is no longer, is no longer able to, you know, have people actually there and recording everyday. We're relying on iReporters and what we're hearing from them in the fields to really give us a sense of what's actually happening and because that's, it's become such a powerful way to find out what's happening every day on the ground we've actually taken the iReport desk and integrated it with CNN's international news gathering in a way that we've never really done before. And I think that's the, probably from an internal perspective, that's that's the big shift. It's, it's not so much that iReport has…iReport hasn't really changed the way we operate, but we've become…iReport has become a really central piece of the way CNN is able to tell the story this time.

Andy Plesser: 
This is an extraordinary news story and it's also extraordinary time of press censorship, as we all know. Is this…do you see this whole Iran crisis as an important moment in so called citizen journalism or how mainstream media has evolved, or is there any sort of, you know, big picture here in your mind?

Lila King:  I think it's absolutely an enormous moment in citizen journalism. It's, it's one of the first times that we're actually seeing an entire story unfold through social media, through iReport, through YouTube, through Facebook, through means that we wouldn't have, you know, we wouldn't have been using five years ago because some of them didn't exist. I think the…I think the significant change here…the significant difference…sorry let me go back just a little bit.

In some ways, one of the things that we talked about a little bit when this story, sort of, started to, started to break, and we started to hear about it and uncover it in a very serious way, is it reminded us a lot of protests for democracy in the Myanmar, I guess, a couple of years ago now. And the way that that story unfolded, the photos and the videos, you know, you were starting to see them online and iReport and other places and think, "How can we really verify this information what's, you know, what's actually happening and how can we tell the story and I think one of the differences in Iran is that there is so much more material that we're actually able to, kind of, verify independently events and things that are happening by going to more than one iReporter and more than one person on the ground. If you were a journalist in the field right you would ask, you, you would corroborate details by getting a couple of sources, you know, by having a couple of people tell you the same thing.

In this story what's happened…on Wednesday last week it was really you know we were trying to figure out how, how the protests were going, what they, you know what they were like and the way we confirmed that was getting two separate iReporters who uploaded two separate videos of what turned out to be silent protests. They were incredibly dramatic videos; thousands of people marching in not saying anything. But the only way that we really could confirm that that was actually happening was going to two separate people and you know looking at two separate angles of the exact same event and talking to people who were in the same place at the same time and you know corraborate those details and ultimately let us report the story. I think, I think that's the difference, it's actually just the, it's the absolute volume of material and the ability to get in touch with people and find out what they're seeing.

Recent Videos
image
First-Party Data Helps Meredith With Video Content Strategy

First-party data is critical to deliver video content to the right audiences, says Laura Rowley, VP of Video Production and Product for the Meredith National Media Group, a media and marketing company serving women, in an interview with Beet.TV. Meredith has grown its video viewership in the last year to 30 ...

David Moore, Xaxis recut
The Next Big Thing at WPP Digital: “Creative Optimization”

In 2015, WPP’s large portfolio of digital agencies, tech providers and content companies, which are fully or partly owned by WPP,  will be organized into a “complete” offering that can “compete with any company in the world,” says David J. Moore, President of WPP Digital and ...

image
Beamly Wants To ‘Super-Charge’ Ads After Pivot ‘Step Change’

The social TV app formerly known as “Zeebox” has ambitions to offer advertisers new experiences, after rebranding to “Beamly” earlier this year. First launched in 2011, Zeebox helped viewers learn and talk about shows during live broadcast. But it expanded to VOD and a greater female ...

image
Second Screens Yield Vital Data for TV Networks

The next hurdle for second screen marketing lies in measuring consumer sentiment towards a TV show, says Alan Wolk, Chairman of Second Screen Society, in an interview with Beet.TV. That can be done by tapping into the treasure trove of data available via mobile phones that consumers use to interact with a ...

image
Addressable Tools Will Drive Programmatic TV, Videology’s Scott Ferber

Programmatic TV will be driven first by addressable tools, says Scott Ferber, Chairman and CEO of video advertising technology platform Videology, in an interview with Beet.TV. “The first step where programmatic and addressable will converge in the TV space is on the data side…understanding who ...

image
AOL Sees Growth in Programmatic TV with 58 Ad Campaigns Up

While programmatic TV buying operates in a just a small slice of the overall TV ad market, it is growing and advertisers are allocating budget.  AOL has some 58 advertising campaigns running in test mode, on its platform, says Bob Lord, Global CEO of AOL Platforms in this interview with Beet.TV We sat down ...

image
Out-Stream Gives Slate 10x Video Ad Boost

CHICAGO — Webzine Slate may be producing some video of its own nowadays but, as a text specialist, the outlet may never make enough to satisfy booming advertiser demand for video ad inventory. That’s why the publisher is using InRead, an ad format from vendor Teads which allows sites to inject ...

image
Cars.com’s Kraut Sees Ad Value In Data After Gannett Sale

CHICAGO — A couple of months after US news publisher Gannett finalized its purchase of the remainder of Cars.com, the autos classified site is revving up to combine data points and its new owner’s heft to sell ads. “There’s a lot of data … our advertisers would love to have the ability ...

image
AdTech Banker Kawaja: Video Ad Platforms Need To Differentiate

If you are tired of trying to distinguish one “end-to-end, full-service video targeting and decisioning” vendor from another, imagine how people from outside the digital video industry must feel. LUMA partners CEO Terence Kawaja says 2015 will see ongoing video tech momentum after the ...

image
Nielsen-Adobe Deal on Track for 2015 Digital Ratings

As consumer interest in watching authenticated TV rises, the ad business will look for better ways to measure video across screens, says Jeremy Helfand, VP Adobe Primetime at Adobe, in this interview with Beet.TV. About 10% of all authenticated TV content is viewed through an OTT device, underscoring the ...

image
WPP’s Modi to Deliver “Addressable” TV Ads Programmatically with Videology

Modi, the recently launched advanced TV unit of WPP’s GroupM, is working with video adtech company Videology to deliver television advertising to specific cable and satellite users in real-time, using programmatic ad decisioning technology, explains Jamie Power, Senior Partner at Modi, in this ...

image
Satisfying Readers Is Key To Content Marketing: Digitas’ Mark Book

CHICAGO — DigitasLbi’s “Perceptions Of Care” video campaign for Whirlpool has won rave reviews from ad watchers, after the agency worked with popular web publisher Upworthy to craft the campaign as a pair of videos. The campaign has generated some hefty social media views. So what was ...

loader