By Jackie Bennion
The idea for iWitness grew out of a sense that we wanted to expand our network of voices from around the world and to respond more quickly to events, especially dramatic situations.
Reaching people in countries such as Iran or Burma via web cam provides an immediate and powerful storytelling tool. We'll be checking in mid story with our regular reporters, but we will also be connecting directly with activists and artists, doctors and teachers, even avatars reporting from virtual communities, such as Second Life.
What we want to avoid is making iWitness the disaster channel. We 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.
This is a work in progress. We're still working out the kinks, so we will be looking to you -- our global community -- for your reactions and fresh new ideas.