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CNN launches citizen journalism awards

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A screenshot of the iReport awards site. Courtesy of CNN.

CNN may not pay for the thousands of reports sent in from around the globe, but it will honor some citizen journalists who contributed to its broadcasts with awards.

CNN launched the first edition of its iReport Awards with six categories: Breaking News, Original Reporting, Compelling Imagery (photos or video), Commentary, Personal Story and Interview.

There are 30 citizen journalist reports broadcast in 2010 competing for the awards. They range from the photo of a man rescued a month after the earthquake in Haiti to a video report from the Third Annual Topless Day in Venice Beach, Calif. They will be judged by a panel of seven media experts. There is also is a community choice pick for best overall video. Viewers can place their votes until March 7 by clicking here.

Citizen journalism awards have been around almost as long as the recent surge in citizen journalism, as a way for news organizations to thank people for contributions that are often not otherwise paid for.

The best CNN iReports will receive a trophy, according to iReport community manager David Williams.

CNN launched iReport in 2006 as a way to involve citizens in the newsgathering process.

New Media is providing ordinary citizens platforms for sel-expre

That CNN and other leading mainstream media are recognising and rewarding Citizen Journalism is indication of the increasing power that the new communication tools have handed ordinary citizens around the world. The ease with which an individual in a village in Kenya who owns a mobile phone that has a camera can record and distribute photographs and videos of the discovery of oil in rural Turkana, Kenya - all without asking for permission - does turn tables in the role of the professional international journalist in a newsroom in London. Indeed, new technology and related communication tools do not create motivations in social beings, they simply amplify existing motivations. Proliferation of Citizen Journalism is a case of a motivated citizenry who previously did not have the freedoms for self-expression and the tools to amplify that expression. New media has provided both.

agreed

It does seem to me that they're getting all that free content, they could hand out a decent prize!

Award prize

Come on CNN ... a trophy? You could at least offer a Flip cam or some other device. You should consider that ... along w/the trophy.

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