Cell Cam Video at front of Va. Tech Coverage

CNN’s slow-to-grow iReport citizen-media operation was front and center during the breaking news coverage of Monday’s tragic shootings at Virginia Tech, with a cell-phone video that captures mainly gunshot audio. Though it’s not exactly the way you want to generate attention, the iReport-branded video was shown by other online outlets and broadcast networks, including the Washington Post and FoxNews.

In an accompanying news story CNN details how Virginia Tech graduate student Jamal Albarghouti shot the footage, after his walk to a meeting with an advisor was interrupted by gunfire and the presence of police. Since iReports videos aren’t embeddable, no official clip here (there’s a link in the story); we did find one clip on YouTube that puports to be the raw footage from Albarghouti’s cell phone, but no confirmation. (Looks like the origin of the same clip, though.)

The rapid response of the worldwide media trying to find on-the-scene witnesses can be seen on one student’s blog on Livejournal. After posting a YouTube video of police cars driving by his dorm window, the student’s blog started receiving comments from news outlets (the Associated Press, Canadian TV, MTV and the Los Angeles Times) seeking to interview him. According to the blog, the student (Bryce Carter) did give interviews to several media outlets.

Keeping up with its focus on providing many different types of media as possible, the Washington Post has a thorough roundup of blog entries on the shootings, while a local paper, The Roanoke (Va.) Times, went to blogging format to keep track of the news as it broke, as did a student-run new-media operation, Planet Blacksburg.

Jackson West contributed to this post.