CNN joins YouTube generation

CNN is launching a user-generated content website called CNN Exchange, which will feature user-submitted video, audio, articles and graphics and also allows readers to interact directly with the site's news reports, commentaries and polls.

Mitch Gelman, senior vice president and executive producer for CNN.com, said: "User-generated content has the potential to play a pivotal role in journalism, whether it's online or offline.

"With CNN Exchange, we've essentially created a one-stop shop for CNN.com users to share their contributions with other internet users, as well as to weigh in on the day's most pressing news."

This week, user-generated video site YouTube overtook MySpace in web popularity and US broadcasters NBC and ABC have recently signed agreements to share content with the site.

Video-sharing sites, such as YouTube and Google Video, have gathered significant amounts of war footage from Lebanon, Iraq, and Chechnya.

As part of CNN's coverage of the fighting in Lebanon earlier this month, the cable channel showed clips that it found on YouTube. The videos were taken by members of the public as they rushed into bomb shelters or witnessed rockets crashing into buildings.

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