Finding and curating standout citizen journalism is what we do, and that extends beyond the stories on CNN iReport. We've recognized six outstanding examples of participatory storytelling in 2012 from social networks and sites across the Web.
Humans of New York is the Tumblr project of photographer Brandon Stanton, who set out to create a photographic census of New York City. After Superstorm Sandy, Stanton and Tumblr teamed up to raise money for the victims by devoting 10 days to documenting and sharing stories about people affected by the storm. Photo courtesy Brandon Stanton
Syrian resident and self-described "Web developer, blogger, metalhead, and freedom fighter" Mike Blackhatoviche offers a unique and raw look at the situation in Syria, documenting scenes that few journalists get to see. His photos, which can often be graphic, show the violence, riots and anti-government protests that have rocked the region. Photo courtesy Mike Blackhatoviche
"Wright's Law" is the moving portrait of a Louisville physics teacher who entertains his students with wacky experiments – but uses his personal story to teach them the true meaning of life. Filmmaker Zach Conkle, a former student of Wright's, is a recent graduate of Western Kentucky University with a degree in photojournalism.
Known for his public stands against Chinese government repression, artist Ai Weiwei was placed under house arrest through June 2012 and not allowed to travel outside of Beijing. He turned to Twitter to share his thoughts on censorship and human rights with the world. He tweets almost exclusively in Mandarin, but a community-powered Twitter feed translates them into English. iReport Awards judge Alison Klaymon directed a documentary about the artist, which won a Special Jury Prize at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.
Dan W. Roy borrowed his church's DSLR camera to film San Diego's Fourth of July fireworks show and captured the now-infamous mishap in high-definition. This was a well-documented event, but Roy's clear and steady video of the spectacular explosion stood out from the rest. It was a perfect example of being in the right place at the right time
South Seaside Park city planner Justin Auciello runs the Jersey Shore Hurricane News Facebook page, which he describes as a "two-way news outlet" to provide information "for the people, by the people." During Superstorm Sandy, the page served as a crucial and trusted tool for those affected, letting people know about shelters, supplies and other news updates. Photo courtesy Susan Fimiani-Lott/beachwritingsnj.com