Let me make a point before I post just so we’re perfectly clear. I love what CNN has done by turning what used to be a Sonny Elliot novelty into an actual business building idea – iReporters. Activating hundreds of thousands of people to submit their stories for publishing without any currency except the social kind was strategic as it was tactical.
With that said, I’ve always taken issue with CNN calling them “reporters”. Reporters (Fox News being the exception) are supposed to be objective. Skewing the media one way or the other has actually gotten reporters fired from their jobs (Fox News being the exception).
So when iReporters submit stories based on first person editorial, I cringe a bit because as an extension of CNN, when an iReporter delivers a scathing reaction to Bob Nardelli’s comments about how the reliability of their vehicles impacts their sales cycles…it’s as if CNN is saying “we don’t believe in the bail outs” as well.
That’s not to say I don’t believe in citizen journalism. As the foundation for social media, I support it 100%, but realistically speaking – we are talking about two different worlds – the world of responsible mainstream media and the world of free social media. When they collide on sites such as CNN, there needs to be more responsibility by the company other than putting an “i” in front of “Reporter”