Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Citizen journalism makes waves in April
To say that April was a big month is an understatement -- we feel these past few weeks have been a watershed for citizen journalism at I-Report. We've narrowed down 10 of our favorites, but there was a lot to pick from. The month began with diverse and interesting submissions, and when news broke, you took it to the next level. (Rank April's best I-Reports)

Paternal prankster Paul Carden of Walterboro, South Carolina, showed us how he pulled his daughter's tooth using a bow and arrow. Then, Bill Christopher sent us a set of photos showing his escape from a sinking cruise ship near the Greek island of Santorini.

But time seemed to stop as the news sunk in that the worst mass shooting rampage in modern U.S. history had occurred on the normally placid Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, Virginia. One moment, Jamal Albarghouti was another student in the crowd and the next, he was ducking for cover outside Norris Hall and grabbing footage of the scene on his cell phone that turned out to be arguably the single most important video from this event. He wasn't alone. While still under lockdown in their dorm rooms, students were aiming their cameras out their windows (one student shot video through his peephole) and sending in their I-Reports. Submissions came in showing tributes and memorials. We put up a page where readers could pay tribute to the victims, and the response of photos and comments was so overwhelming that we had a hard time keeping up with what was coming in. In particular, we were touched by a video showing victim Ryan Clark celebrating a touchdown at a football game. I-Reports turned out to be more than just a storytelling medium, and it was very powerful for us to see how people were expressing their grief and connecting with one another in a difficult time.

The month finished off with plenty more, including the Blue Angels plane crash, a train smashing into a truck, an amazing photo of Boris Yeltsin, a father and son trapped by two tornadoes, wildfires in Georgia and a freeway crash near the Bay Bridge in San Francisco, California. This has been an incredible month and we hope you'll keep flooding us with I-Reports. (View our gallery of top picks)

Now, you tell us: What do you think of our list? Is there anything you would have liked to see on it, but didn't? What did you think about citizen journalism in April? Got some creative tooth-pulling ideas that would make Wile E. Coyote break out in a sweat? We want to hear your opinions. Please post them as comments below.

Zeina Yacoub
Matthew Cheek
Sourabh Banerjee
Ed DePinter
Troy Reynolds
Matt McKenna
James Brierton
Michelle Maverick

March's picks

Michelle Maverick
Stardust implosion
Read more
Pipas Forjaz
Mozambique explosion
Read more
Sharon Dunten
Indiana flooding
Read more
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
I-Reporters in action
As the rain-swollen Missouri and Kansas rivers overflowed their banks, I-Reporters jumped in their cars to document the damage, even driving to neighboring communities to check out the flooding.

Nikki Harmon-McKim snapped shots of roads cut off by floodwaters near her home in Falls City, Nebraska, and then headed to nearby Rulo, where she captured more images of the damage.

Joe Brown left his home in Omaha, Nebraska, and traveled south to Bellevue for shots of the flooding in a campground and public park. Brown even went wading to see how deep the water was in a flooded ditch off a roadway. He didn’t like sloshing around with all the carp in the ditch. We wouldn’t recommend it either.

I-Reporters are amazing at how quickly they get out there and send back breaking news.

Check out their latest efforts in the Plains flooding gallery.
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