Thursday, March 08, 2007
Simply the best
Every month, we ask you to rank a selection of outstanding I-Reports. Invariably, we have a difficult time trying to isolate the ones that really stand out -- and we couldn't be happier about that. Now that February's list has been hammered out, we'd once again like to know which ones are your favorites.

We encourage you to take a moment and rank February's best I-Reports (click through the gallery to read about them). It's an opportunity to recognize citizen journalists who've taken the time to tell us their stories. While we're at it, we'd like to celebrate those in the winners' circle, so check out the below list of past champs, plus the top three picks from January's contest.

When storms, fires, freezing weather and tornadoes made headlines, your photos and videos provided on-the-ground perspective on current events. You showed us what it was really like and put a face on the news, even making your own video packages. We hope you'll keep those I-Reports coming.

Zeina Yacoub
Matthew Cheek
Sourabh Banerjee
Ed DePinter
Troy Reynolds
Matt McKenna

January's picks

Matt McKenna
Weight-loss success
Read more
Mike Koprowski
Surviving cancer
Read more
Dustin Long
Malibu fire
Read more
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
Covering a catastrophe
There’s a saying in professional sports: “The great ones play hurt.” Today, I’m borrowing that sentiment to paraphrase it for I-Reporters.

When tornadoes swept across the South and Midwest last week, killing 20 people, they were there. Lauren Aylworth, 16, was in the Science hall at Enterprise High School in Alabama when a tornado damaged the building, killing 8 of her classmates. Shaken and grieving, she still wanted to share her story with us and wanted the world to see the destruction to her school. She sent us a photo of what was left of the hall where she and many of her classmates survived the storm.

When downed trees and power lines made roads impassible and dangerous, I-Reporter Erica Riggs put on her walking shoes to give us a glimpse of the devastation. Sumter Regional Hospital in Americus, Georgia, was hit hard by the storms. Riggs walked a little less than a mile to get to it, but then she was turned back by police because of the many biohazards from the hospital that had been scattered by the fierce winds.
Riveting images of destruction are a longtime staple of news. When calamity happens to strangers, readers are a little more detached. But when it happens to your friends and neighbors, the sense of loss hits home. I-Reporters captured that sense of loss with their photos.
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