How To Impact The Global News Cycle

This could be your worst nightmare. Could be your greatest dream. Who wrote the headline (circled in yellow), “The South Is In Play,” on the CNN Politics homepage from Friday, June 20? I did. Using the, unvetted, citizen journalism platform, iReport.


Big takeaway, if a Peach Pundit blogger can impact the 24-hour news cycle, then so can you. The headline on the homepage linked back to this iReport here.


  1. SpaceyG says:

    Doug hon, this has nothing to do with me and everything to do with the (free) tools that are out there for everyone to use now. If using them happens to promote me too, well goodie for me!

  2. SpaceyG says:

    And Dougie Boy Fresh, please update that blog of yours. If I have to tell you again how annoying that baby head photo is to ME, then, well, I’ll have to just keep telling you. And you will soooo hate that.

  3. Harry says:

    Which pundit was saying Obama’s biggest problem is that the news cycle is no longer controlled by the mainstream media. It’s been called the Drudge Effect.

  4. Doug Deal says:


    I am too lazy and have a waning interest in politics at the moment, so writing something to push the baby down might not be forthcoming.

  5. Chris says:

    Spacey – Serious Question: what is your day job? How long does it take to edit these videos? Where do you find the time?

  6. SpaceyG says:

    That whole effort took about two hours of my (precious) time, Chris. The key is flexibility, and geography. If something is newsworthy within a 3-mile radius of my house, which WSB-TV happens to be (where that one low, low production value video was rolled on) then I’m on it.

    Most of the time I’m just another multimedia soccer mom in the sea of minivans across Atlanta.

    Once you’ve worked in news though, the news-gathering instinct stays in the blood, so I just keep an eye out for anything that might be “newsy.” In this case, Towery put a notice on SPR about some key new poll results he was going to announce at Channel 2. So I just asked him if I could tag along and help promote it.

    Most of what I do must also be quick and easy to upload from my laptop or cell. It’s a hobby you might say, although I firmly believe that citizen journalism, and harvesting user-generated content, particularly video, is going to become more and more important to the overall news-gathering process — for any kind of media outlet. If they are going to survive that is.

    With iReport, CNN has made the first serious effort of any (broadcast) news outlet to begin to seriously integrate user-generated news content. Obviously, they made the right investments in the platforms that make it easy for, say, a busy blogging soccer mom to use.

    Once you get your stuff there, CNN treats material coming in via iReport, from all over the world now, as serious content with serious newsworthy potential. They cull through the uploads constantly for material that is relevant to the news cycle and can be used across all their news platforms. Even broadcast on some occasions.

    Remember, these 24-hour cable channels, and any news organization nowadays really, MUST feed the beast. And it’s a beast that’s always hungry for video. With so many people now capable, thanks to personal technology, of gathering content on the ground level, any news outlet that creates a good, strong, working platform for gathering that kind of content from “the citizen” has something that’s invaluable to them – a constant source of free content.

    Any news organization that is NOT currently using or at least building-out user-generated platforms whereby their own audience and community base can contribute their personal media is seriously behind in the game.

    What is going to put a citizen journalist on the map in terms of their content going to the front of the cue? You gotta be at the right place at the right time… before any other media gets there. Good to always have a video or digital cam on you. And batteries!

    For instance, I had a terrific opportunity just this morning to get a great video clip of a giant herd of City of Atlanta officials, all out of their offices for once, and looking at the Howell Mill widening project that’s caused so much grief in NW Atlanta. I had the camera, went to roll the video, and the batteries died on me! I was merely passing by to take my kid to a playdate at the time. What at least 10 City officials were doing there, as traffic was beginning to back up by 10:30am already, I don’t know. Awaiting some noon liveshots with local stations maybe.

    If you could have seen how they fled, en mass, when I told ’em I was “a blogger” though! What a priceless shot that would have been. But I blew it by not being prepared. Alas.

    Wow. Didn’t mean to go on so long. I had a chance to grab some excellent news gathering advice from CNN’s head of International coverage a few months back. That bite is here:

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