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...