CNN launched iReport.com yesterday, a “citizen journalism” site dedicated to user news submissions.
Andy Warhol said in 1968 that “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes,” and iReport.com is offering users at least part of their 15 minutes as submissions may be used on CNN itself. But unfortunately that’s where it ends, because there is no payment for submissions. CNN claims this is a site is “where the community — not CNN — became the most trusted name in news,” but trust doesn’t equal money at a time where more and more sites and startups explore ways of compensating users for their time and effort.
There is some good content on the site, and CNN has selected star reporters in a social networking style popularity contest that encourages decent content, that and users can vote on stories as well. The weakness in the idea is that submissions are not pre-vetted or pre-read (or seemingly post-read), and you get stories like this one that is currently sitting as the fourth most viewed story on the site. I’m sure the weather in New York might be disgusting, but does a story that consists of one line and a picture of snow really make for great reporting? Then there’s stories like this one; Testing testing…… I can see people having proper fun with this in the coming days, until CNN ultimately decides that not moderating the site is a dumb idea.
Bored TechCrunch readers should feel free to add their own stories to CNN iReport and post the links. There’s no prize for the best one, other than your 0.25 seconds of Warhol fame in the TechCrunch comment thread :-)