CNN festival phones it in

iReporters will add campaign coverage

CNN’s iReport has tapped users’ cell-phone video capability to post breaking news closeups from amateurs in front of giant tornadoes, raging wildfires and the MLB All Star Parade. Now the channel is looking to assign “iReporters” to the 2008 campaign.

CNN wants volunteers close to each campaign to submit short videos to its iReport Film Festival. Shorts that capture behind-the-scenes (our read: embarrassing) moments are encouraged. Each iReporter gets a chance to win a trip to the presidential inauguration and a new video camera.

But budding correspondents would be wise to read the fine print: Submission guidelines do address journalistic integrity, stipulating that the assignment not be undertaken on behalf of the candidate. CNN gets worldwide, perpetual rights to the footage, and the iReporter is responsible for getting legal clearances from anyone in the video.

And the day rate for this outsourced reporting gig? Zilch.

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