Will People Pay CNN To Help Them Report The News?

from the shouldn't-that-work-in-the-other-direction? dept

I've been seeing good reviews for CNN's new iPhone app, that's apparently well-designed. Lots of people are pointing out that the app is being offered for $2, as they wonder if people will "pay for the news." Except, of course, anyone with an iPhone can access cnn.com for free via their browser. So, if they're paying for anything, it must be additional features or convenience that the app allows -- not the content itself. And, for all the good reviews of the app, there's one "feature" being promoted that I'm not so sure I understand. Everyone keeps talking up how the app will turn anyone with an iPhone into an on-the-spot reporter:
Among the high points of the CNN app: It offers the chance to essentially join the CNN reporting team. Readers are invited to submit their own photos and video clips to iReport, a feature CNN already uses on its Web site for gathering material from the public.
Reading this, all I can think is that CNN is asking people to pay it to work for CNN. If it works, bravo for CNN, but that does feel a little backwards, doesn't it? I can totally understand user-generated content sites where people do work for prestige rather than money, but I'm not sure how enticing it is to get people to pay to do work for you...

Filed Under: citizen journalism, iphone apps, news, reporting
Companies: cnn


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  1. icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), 1 Oct 2009 @ 7:50am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: I don't think that's the point

    Right. I don't think CwF has anything to do with direction (i.e. whether THEY are connecting with YOU or vice versa). The point is the connection. As soon as you make the "fan" feel like a part of the experience, like they're being paid attention to, like they're a part of the overall experience, then you're going to increase the bond between buyer and seller, and those bonds almost always produce results.

    If the CNN reader values recognition in a CNN story (I probably would, though not to a huge degree), then that feature of the app might be worth paying for. If the same fan understands the way they're submission might be used...well I guess I just don't see the problem, other than any hypocrisy that might exist depending on CNN's past stances on blog-journalism or new media (don't really know what they've said/done on those issues in the past).

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