Monday, April 23, 2007
I-Report presses ahead
This has been a monumental week for I-Report and citizen journalism.
Last Sunday, April 15th, as a Nor’easter threatened the Atlantic coast, I-Reporters sent us pictures from places that CNN could not get to. I vividly remember video from the flooded streets of Hoboken, New Jersey. (Watch flooding video.) These pictures from Corey Kronengold helped us illustrate the story, with cars driving through flood waters and people walking around in waist-deep water. Weather coverage has always been an I-Report specialty.

On Monday, Jamal Albarghouti’s video brought us as close to the Virginia Tech tragedy as possible. With his shaky images and sounds of gunfire, Albarghouti captured the reality of the situation. (Watch cell phone video.) The footage was shocking, unbelievable and truly intense. It may well become like the so-called “Zapruder” film that captured the assassination of JFK. They are images we will never forget, along with the photos of the victims and memorials. (See memorials gallery.)

This Saturday, an estimated 20,000 people were attending an air show in South Carolina. During the event, a Blue Angel jet crashed into a neighborhood. In a matter of minutes, we started getting images from I-Reporter Fred Yelinek. He was able to get to the scene of the accident. His pictures were the first to show the neighborhood damage. (See his images.) One chilling picture showed a part of the ripped fuselage … with Blue Angels markings. In all, he sent us 70 photos. CNN also received dozens of pictures from the air show, of the planes in flight moments before the accident. (See airshow gallery.)

On Sunday, we received video images from Teresa Richardson. (Watch her video.) Her I-Report showed the plane coming from the side of the screen, making a turn then going under the tree line. I’m sure investigators will be looking at this footage to determine what went wrong. And I-Reporter Gary Dipasquale, who was invited to the air show by the fallen pilot, sent us video footage just before the jet took off. (Watch his video.) He wanted to make sure his new friend was honored by showing the skill and precision of the Blue Angels.
It’s been amazing to see the progression of I-Report. From its inception, this user-generated content has been a mixture of what we all experience in life -- the good, the bad and sometimes the ugly moments.
Thanks for all your submissions.
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