CNN aims to find out by opening an I-Report hub in Second Life, a three-dimensional virtual world created entirely by its residents. There, CNN will look to those most familiar with the virtual world — the Second Life residents themselves — to determine what constitutes news “in-world.” Developer Linden Labs opened Second Life to the public in 2003. According to its Web site, Second Life is inhabited by millions of “residents” from around the globe. However, traffic at any given time hovers around 40,000 users.

Just as CNN asks its real-life audience to submit I-Reports — user-generated content submitted from cell phones, computers, cameras and other equipment for broadcast and online reports — the network is encouraging residents of Second Life to share their own “SL I-Reports” about events occurring within the virtual world.


“The thing we most hope to gain by having a CNN presence in Second Life is to learn about virtual worlds and understand what news is most interesting and valuable to their residents,” said Susan Grant, executive vice president of CNN News Services.

When Second Life residents observe an in-world event they deem newsworthy, they can take snapshots, shoot video, or write a report about the event and submit to CNN.


Submissions selected by CNN I-Report producers will go back into Second Life for residents to view throughout the virtual world. SL I-Reports may also be viewed and discussed in the real world at’s SL I-Report Blog.


CNN’s in-world I-Report hub includes a news desk where CNN producers will hold weekly editorial discussions, and an amphitheater for larger in-world events, such as training sessions and appearances by CNN anchors and correspondents.

CNN’s first in-world training session will be held Tuesday, November 13, at 5 p.m. ET at the I-Report Hub.


At the I-Report hub, residents can also meet other resident reporters, as well as access I-Report kiosks, free-standing terminals where residents can pick up free gear and tools for gathering and viewing in-world user-generated content