CNN is taking a cue from YouTube and other websites, announcing on Monday that it has created a site where users can submit their own video recordings pertaining to news.
The cable news network has created a new program allowing users to submit their digital audio and video captured from breaking news in their local regions. The content can be uploaded directly to CNN's new website, CNN Exchange, or emailed in.
All submissions, or I-Reports, as the network is calling them, will be considered for possible use on CNN's TV and online news reports.
User-generated content, CNN.com executive producer and senior vice president, said, has the potential to play a pivotal role in journalism, whether it's online or offline.
Consumers have been submitting to news sites for years but the rise of the internet, high-speed connections, and inexpensive camcorders have allowed for an increase in user-generated content.
Earlier this month CNN used footage if found on the internet in coverage of the fighting in Lebanon. The footage was captured by amateur photojournalist who rushed in to devastation or witnessed attacks.
Last year, some of the first footage to come from the London subway bombings were also picked up by citizens using cell phones,
Many firms have attempted to capitalize on this. Al Gore launched Current TV in 2005 to serve audiences with content they submitted. Users respond to videos, and the ones garnering the most positive replies are aired on national TV.
The most successful company to take advantage of this trend has been YouTube, garnering over 19 million unique visitors in less than 15 months.