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Introducing iWitness

We're launching a new series on the website this week called iWitness. The idea for iWitness grew out of a sense that we wanted to expand our network of voices and to respond more quickly to events in the news, especially situations unfolding in critical regions around the world.

The series will be interview-based and primarily connecting with people over webcam in countries such as Iran, Burma, Pakistan, and other hotspots -- places often difficult to access and report from. We'll be checking in mid story with our regular correspondents, but we will also be connecting directly with activists and artists, doctors and teachers, filmmakers and investigative reporters, even, conceivably, avatars reporting from virtual communities such as Second Life.

The idea isn't for iWitness to turn into a disaster channel, but it will often provide a quick response to dramatic events where people are providing eyewitness accounts as well as video footage and images where possible. We also expect to create a rich mix of stories about people engaged on the front lines of politics, art and social change.

That's why Joe Rubin is a natural curator and interviewer for iWitness. He's an accomplished globe-trotting video journalist with a long history working with FRONTLINE/World. And he is passionate about bringing the latest technology and out of the box thinking to the new media landscape.

It's a work in progress and will no doubt evolve as we get going. So we will be looking to you -- our global community -- for your reactions and ideas in helping to shape this new enterprise.