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iReport is CNN's citizen journalism initiative that allows people from around the globe to contribute pictures and video of breaking news stories. It is similar to Wikinews in that it allows, and encourages, regular citizens to submit stories, photos and videos related to news of any sort. This can range from breaking news to a story that a person believes is newsworthy. Submissions are not edited, fact-checked, or screened before they post. Stories that are verified are approved for use on all of CNN's platforms. The program was launched on August 2, 2006 to take advantage of the newsgathering capabilities of citizens at the scene of notable events. iReport grew out of another related program: CNN's Fan Zone, which allowed viewers to contribute pictures and video from the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany.

The tsunami caused by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and the 7 July 2005 London bombings gave citizen journalists at the scene the opportunity to report on the events as they experienced them. Pictures from both were difficult to obtain in the moments after each tragedy. Broadcast news outlets, depending on agency or bureau video, were fortunate to receive submissions from people on the scene. Developing this format became a necessity for cable and network news shows.

As of January 2012, there were more than a million registered iReport members.In January 2015 iReport was moved from direct access on the website with a dramatic reduction in the number of views for stories. Many of the original senior staff members have moved or departed. The success of iReport has been utilized for specific programs, like the 2007 New Year's Eve coverage featuring iParty in which viewers' photos of their celebrations were shown on television. CNN producers also regularly provide "assignments," for possible inclusion in upcoming coverage.