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CNN’s viewer submission effort, I-Report, took awhile to enter the public consciousness, but it appears to be catching on. The network has started a new show “News to Me” composed entirely of I-Report videos. It’s receiving up to 3,000 useful entries a month, up 30 percent from the beginning of the year, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution (via Lost Remote, which heard about it from TVNewser).
iReport initially got off to a slow start, but exposure on big stories like the Virginia Tech shootings and prominent pitches over the air have created a recognizable brand, and people are now responding.
Fox has now launched its copycat uReport, and both networks are on the heels of the Beeb, which launched its effort last November. Oh, and ABC is planning something called i-Caught, since the naming meme clearly hasn’t been fully played out yet.
Of course, putting your video online won’t necessarily get you paid, as freelance reporters do. And it’s not like people haven’t been sending in photos and footage for generations. But it illustrates how, in content, a big story can push aggregated media efforts like these into critical mass, and provide for really compelling stuff.