Having established iReport three years ago, CNN is the most established mainstream media organization publishing user generated content.
With the launch today of the newly revamped CNN.com, the role of community content has been prominently elevated. It is now a regular section of the site. Although the news generated from this is labeled as "contributed," it will be more part of the CNN general offering.
iReport has been important to CNN's news gathering on big stories, notably the post-election unrest in Iran.
On Thursday in New York, I interviewed Lila King who has run iReport from Atlanta. She was in New York for the big press kick-off.
You can find more information about the site redesign and the new position of the iReport in the company's press release
The new site went live last night. Here is the newly named CNN iReport.
Andy Plesser, Executive Producer
Lila King: I feel like we're coming home. iReport is moving back into CNN.com where it belongs and we're bringing an incredible community of citizen journalists who have really done amazing work for the last three years over on iReport.com. We're bringing them back to CNN.com, which is exactly where they belong.
Andy Plesser: Tell me a little bit about the content and the contributions have changed. You've been at it since the beginning, I think.
Lila King: Yes!
Andy Plesser: So tell us sort of where things are now, both the kinds of videos, the forms of videos, the scope of the contributors…where are things now?
Lila King: Well I always like to tell this anecdote. The very first iReport, back in 2006 that was on CNN was literally a squirrel. It was in the middle of a heatwave, it was Kokomo, Indiana, it was a squirrel that looked really hot stretched out on a tree branch and it was a still photo and in the last three years we've come a really long way since then.
One thing that we've started to see too, and it started kind of small, and has gotten much more popular is not just raw footage that's shot from cell phones or even small video cameras, but actually full video produced packages on iReport.com and the soon to be CNN iReport, I'll have to get used to saying that. But people like Chris Morrow in San Diego, CA, who's one of our superstar iReporters, goes out, shoots videos, shoots b-roll, and then comes back home and in her home studio lays on fonts and graphics and cuts together with transitions and turns real packages that run all the time on CNN. She's doing absolutely incredible work and she's just one of almost 400,000.
What I would really love to see and what bringing iReport to CNN really sets us up for is some new collaboration, I think. We've built a community and we've built a set of tools to upload stories and what I'd really like to see next is people working together to tell stories in real time, in the same place. I can't wait!
Andy Plesser: That'll be exciting. Well congratulations Lila. Great to see you; great to have you on the show.
Lila King: Great to see you too!