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Posts Tagged ‘Lila King’

@CNNbrk Hits 10,000,000 Followers

Remember a few years ago when the race was on to see who would be the first to get to 1,000,000 followers on Twitter?

At the time, the two biggest accounts were @CNNbrk the breaking news feed of CNN and @aplusk the Twitter handle of actor Ashton Kutcher.

The race to 1,000,000 culminated in April 2009. Chronicled here on TVNewser, just after 2amET on the morning of April 17, 2009 Kutcher was first to cross the million mark.

Fast forward almost four years, and both of those accounts have passed 10 million followers. In fact, Kutcher’s @aplusk has more than 13 million followers while @CNNbrk hit 10 million in the last week. So today, the digital newsroom in Atlanta celebrated.

“To me, the milestone is a signal that our approach is working,” says Lila King, CNN’s senior director for Social News. “Over the past few months we’ve worked hard to fine-tune our voice on Twitter and strike a balance between being authoritative and collaborative, and I’d like to think that 10 million would say it’s right on.”

While Kutcher was the first to 1,000,000 he’s only No. 22 on the list of top Twitter accounts today. Lady Gaga holds the lead with 33,073,438; Justin Bieber is next with 32,974,609 and Katy Perry is third with 32,201,464.

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CNN iReport Gets Major Relaunch As a ‘Social Network for News’

Since launching five years ago, CNN’s iReport has become the gold standard when it comes to traditional media companies utilizing  user-generated content. Thousands of videos, photos and stories that began as posts on the site have been featured on CNN’s networks. Today, iReport is making its largest evolution yet with a major relaunch, all in an effort to become a “social network for news.”

“Our hunch is that we could pull in more participation in stories if we create a more personalized experience of iReport,” Lila King, CNN’s participation director, tells TVNewser. “The guiding principle we have been operating by is that we make iReport a bat-signal for participation.”

iReport will still be seeking content from users, and select submissions will still be featured on-air, but at the core of the new site are features that have more in common with social networking sites than news sites:

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Bending the Rules to Report the Story

The NYTimes’ Brian Stelter looks at the how the reporting on the Iran crisis is bending most conventional rules of journalism — due in large part because journalists aren’t allowed in the country too cover what’s going on. That includes CNN’s iReports.

In the vetting process, CNN contacts the person who posted the material, asks questions about the content and tries to confirm its veracity. Lila King, the executive in charge of iReport, said the staff members try to “triangulate the details” of an event by corroborating stories with multiple iReport contributors in a given area. Farsi speakers at CNN sometimes listened intently to the sound from the protest videos, discerning the accents of Iranian cities and transcribing the chants and screams.</blockquote

But the iReports are just one way citizen journalists are reporting the story. Cable and broadcast networks are also relying on YouTube and Twitter for information.

Television anchors were frequently put in the same position while covering Iran. Last Wednesday, the Fox News anchor Shepard Smith showed a YouTube video of police officials beating and dragging people. “We do not know when or where this video was from,” Mr. Smith told viewers. “We do not even know if it was staged, although we have no reason to believe that.” All he knew for sure was that it was “recently uploaded to YouTube.” For news organizations that face reporting constraints, that has become a good enough starting point.


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In a CNN iReport video added to the site today, a citizen journalist in Tehran captures what is presumably a member of the Iranian military shooting on crowds below. Click on the image to see the video