CNN iReport is an essential element of newsgathering and storytelling here at CNN, and your voice, along with others, helps us shape the stories we report. iReporters helped to cover some of the biggest stories of 2011 - including the Arab Spring, the devastating earthquake and nuclear disaster in northern Japan, and the Occupy Wall Street movement. iReporters also shared their feelings on the tenth anniversaries of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and the war in Afghanistan.
The CNN iReport Awards is an opportunity to celebrate journalism and reward iReporters for their contributions to our community. The 36 nominees were selected by a panel of CNN experts who reviewed the almost 15,000 iReports approved for use on CNN in 2011 to find the most compelling examples of participatory journalism. Our goal is to recognize and honor iReporters for delivering stories that are creative, personal, provocative, well-produced and, above all, newsworthy.
There are six categories: Breaking News, Original Reporting, Compelling Imagery, Commentary, Personal Story and Interview. Our judges selected the recipients in each category.
The people have spoken and chosen the iReport they think represents the best of CNN iReport in 2011. The votes are in, and the Community Choice Award goes to: Michelle "Bombshell" McGee.
Each iReporter adds something unique to CNN, and we're also lucky to have exceptional members who go above and beyond to make the CNN iReport community stronger. We honor them in recognition of their hard work and sense of collaboration, which embody the spirit of CNN iReport.
This year we'll be hosting a weekend-long event at CNN's headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. A select group of iReporters will partake in hands-on sessions, in-depth discussions and networking events, culminating in a special presentation honoring the Second Annual iReport Award recipients and nominees.