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Saturday, December 22, 2007

Wring out the old, ring in the new

Yes, it's that time of year... when all the media outlets give us their "Top 10" lists and "______ of the Year" choices. CNN has already started running a 2007 summary commercial: 

Airing Monday night is the documentary "Rescuing Youssif," with Sanjay Gupta and Arwa Damon taking us on the incredible journey to repair damage caused when masked men doused a 5-year-old Iraqi boy with gasoline and set him on fire. In this clip, we learn how CNN got involved when the boy's father brought his story to the Baghdad bureau:

Wednesday will see a year-end-review show focusing on the impact that iReporters had this year:

Year-End Special Explores Impact of User-Generated Content on News

CNN’s ‘iReport: Caught on Camera’ Premieres Wednesday, Dec. 26, at 8 p.m. (ET)

As 2007 comes to a close, CNN reviews the year’s most talked-about stories including the Virginia Tech tragedy, the Minneapolis bridge collapse and California’s wildfire through the eyes of its citizen journalists. “iReport: Caught on Camera” will highlight the most memorable news events of 2007 by showcasing material from iReporters – viewers and users who submit their own pictures and video of the news of the day via cell phones, cameras and other devices.

Hosted by Out in the Open’s Rick Sanchez, “iReport: Caught on Camera” will premiere on CNN/U.S. and CNN HD on Wednesday, Dec. 26, at 8 p.m., and replays on Tuesday, Jan. 1, at 8 p.m. All times Eastern. The special will also air on CNN International at various times depending on location.

“It’s hard to turn away when watching a news story unfold in the raw – unfiltered and user-generated,” Sanchez said. “iReport is cutting edge and has become a meeting place where news, television and today’s technology intersect and keep us in awe.”

The one-hour special is packed with the best iReports of 2007, featuring interviews with iReporters and CNN/U.S. President Jon Klein about the year’s biggest stories including the Virginia Tech tragedy, the riots in Myanmar, the Minneapolis bridge collapse and California’s wildfires. CNN anchors and correspondents Jim Acosta, Wolf Blitzer, Matthew Chance, Heidi Collins, Anderson Cooper, Don Lemon, David Mattingly, Chad Myers, Nic Robertson and Ted Rowlands also add dimension to the top stories from their own reporting during the year.

With more than 73,000 submissions in 2007, CNN’s iReport exposed the world to some of the most compelling images in the news over the last year and helped establish user-generated content as a powerful and viable means of newsgathering. The special replays compelling iReports of an earthquake in Peru, an eyewitness to a suicide bombing in Afghanistan, the top political iReports with Tom Foreman, a Taser incident during a John Kerry speech, severe weather around the world and contributions from U.S. troops and their families.

On the morning of April 16, iReport created a remarkable impression when chilling cell phone video from the campus of Virginia Tech provided viewers with a first-hand look at the tragedy that claimed the lives of 32 victims. Within 24 hours of the Virginia Tech tragedy, CNN received more than 420 submissions, ranging from eyewitness accounts of the events on campus to reflective and emotional tributes to those that lost their lives. The latest submission record was set during the recent California wildfires, when iReporters shared 11,680 videos and photos.

Viewers submit iReport material through a “Send Your iReport” link at or by e-mail at Submitted material undergoes the same extensive vetting process CNN employs for all content that goes on air or online.

“iReport: Caught on Camera” will be broadcast in high definition. The executive producer is Michael Kane.
It's also award season, and one of the top ones for journalism, the duPont Awards (considered the broadcast equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize) were announced this week. Although no CNN reporters were named this year, they will have a representative: 
CNN's Christiane Amanpour, a former duPont awardee, will interview several of the duPont winners in the PBS special program Telling the Truth: The Best in Broadcast Journalism, premiering Jan. 28. This program, an annual feature on public television stations, will include excerpts of the winning programs and explore how journalists outsmart the blizzard of spin, the limitations of newsroom budgets, and the logistics of travel to dangerous locations. 

Where In The World...?

It was another big week in Iowa, of course: on Sunday TJ Holmes was in Des Moines and Suzanne Malveaux was in Cedar Falls. Monday, Suzanne was in Des Moines, along with Candy Crowley, who had been in DC on Sunday. Tuesday Suzanne was still in Des Moines (with the Clinton campaign) while Dana Bash was on the road with Fred Thompson. Wednesday John King was in Des Moines; Thursday he was in Indianola, Iowa. (I know; get a map!) Friday, John King and Dana Bash were both in Des Moines. Thankfully, Iowa took Saturday off...

Meanwhile, Wolf Blitzer took the whole week off, with the exception of going to Columbia, Missouri in the Election Express on Wednesday, in order to get an exclusive interview with Rudy Giuliani. Monday and Tuesday, John King hosted "The Situation Room," while Suzanne Malveaux did the honors Thursday and Friday.

Arwa Damon had a pre-recorded piece air Wednesday that was shot in New York and Philadelphia, but she added live commentary from London. Harris Whitbeck (pictured above) is currently in Baghdad.

By the way, if you have a chance, check out the political roundtable that airs during the third hour of TSR. The panel changes every day, but is usually excellent. A frequent combination (and my personal favorite) is Jeffrey Toobin, Jack Cafferty, and Gloria Borger.

That's it for me this week... have a wonderful Christmas!

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