These days social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and Tumblr are integral to most news organizations' news-gathering processes. CNN launched its own user-generated content initiative – iReport – back in 2006, allowing viewers to contribute to breaking news and share their personal stories on CNN.com.
iReport officially turned five on Aug. 2nd. In that half-decade, iReporters have sent us some of the most moving and meaningful footage and images from tsunami zones from India to Japan, the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the London bombings and more. The hardships, the bravery and the skill of our iReporters has only heightened the value of their contributions, enabling CNN's coverage of breaking news stories to be not only more immediate but more emotive.