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Spot.us plans expansion beyond Bay Area

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The Nieman Lab covers the planned expansion of Spot.Us, a really interesting and pioneering project in crowdsourced crowdfunded journalism. At this time, where everybody is discussing potential models for journalism to survive (or be funded), Spot.us takes an innovative approach. By the looks of this interview, it’s going well. Hopefully that’s not only true for the Bay Area…

Spot.Us, the non-profit experiment in journalism funded by readers, plans to expand beyond San Francisco by the end of summer, founder David Cohn tells me in the interview above. Seattle and Los Angeles are the most likely candidates for the site’s next iteration, and in the longer term, Spot.Us is looking to the east coast as well.

Read the rest of the story over at Nieman Lab…

In case you aren’t familiar with Spot.Us, here’s a video briefly explaining the basics:

Spot.Us – Community Funded Reporting Intro from Digidave on Vimeo.

Video sources: (1) Nieman Lab, Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License. (2) David Cohn / Digidave, Creative Commons Attribution 3.0.

CNN launches iReport, gets serious about Citizen Journalism?

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CNN will launch a new Citizen Journalism portal, reports Mediaweek. Going by the name iReport, the project will be a portal for user-generated video news.

The CNN has been accepting photos and videos (called, in CNN speak, I-Reports) by their viewers since 2006. So the TV channel has a little bit of experience with user-generated content.

However, as Mashable points out, it’s pretty unclear where the CNN will try to go with iReport.com. Susan Grant, executive vp of CNN News Services, is quoted quite contradictory. On the one hand, Grant claims that iReport will be “completely unvetted.” On the other hand, she says: “We’ll be telling people in lots of different ways that it’s a post-moderated site.”

Now that’s quite a difference, I’d say. However, I’ll be more than happy to give the CNN a chance here. If they get it right, a smart video news portal by citizen journalists for citizens could be quite an ambitious project. Which leaves me hoping – but not quite believing – that Mashable’s Mark Hopkins is wrong when he claims that “CNN is completely blinded by the dollar signs” involved in citizen journalism.