Scenes From the Field, which says it will carry "images you don't always see on news reports from CNN teams around the world", is a way to "reach a new audience", Peter Bale, vice president and general manager of digital at CNN International told Journalism.co.uk, as well as "draw in new material".
"The thing that we're trying to do from the field is really exploit the fact we have so many people in the field and they're constantly taking pictures, they're communicating on Instagram, they're really in place," he said.
"And they also go to some surprising places so this is a way of using the Instagram platform, that people on our staff are already using, and then drawing that back in to the advantage of CNN."
This is far from the first time CNN has used Instagram to deliver additional content and colourful context to their audience. Last year, during the Democratic National Convention, Instagram was one of the tools used by CNN to more directly share the experiences of its journalists. The project, called Snapshots of the DNC, aimed to offer CNN viewers "images of the political theatre on display", via an updating page of tiled images.
At the beginning of this year, CNN invited members of the public attending the US President's inauguration to submit Instagrams via a hashtag, or using CNN iReport, and explain their reasons for being there. And just last month CNN embarked on an "Instagram-only project for CNN's anniversary coverage" of Hurricane Sandy, in recognition of the way much content was shared when the events occurred last year.
And CNN's use of Instagram is not just limited to images. Back in June, Instagram introduced a 15-second video facility, and CNN soon put this into practice.
"We did a project on the general elections where we used 15-second videos of politicians and used the Instagram platform to do that," Bale explained. "That was a bit of a pilot."
And he added that in the future, short-form video like this could also join the Scenes platform, as well as images captured using mobile apps beyond Instagram.
"At the moment Scenes From The Field specialises in still pictures, but I'd really love to see it incorporate 15-second videos, which is the Instagram platform, and also conceivably Vine as well.
"So although it's predominantly from Instagram that we're drawing this content at the moment, I certainly wouldn't exclude us using any other platform and photographs that are sent into us by our staff. But Instagram is the one we're using at the moment for sheer convenience and because people are already using it quite a lot."
Here at Journalism.co.uk we have reported on a number of Instragram-led projects by news outlets across the world, from the Boston Globe, which created an Instragram wall to track content shared during Hurricane Sandy, as well as using it to gain direct insight into a specific community, to NowThis News which used Instagram video to offer short interview snippets. The Washington Post also curated Instagrams, among other content shared online, during 2012's DNC, while the BBC's journalists used Instagram just this month to share short reports from the ground following Typhoon Haiyan.
Update: This article was corrected to state that images will be shared from across the world, not just the country.
Free daily newsletter
- Speakers from CNN and Reuters to share insights at newsrewired, 7 March
- 'Everything is a red flag': The challenges of the new media movement in Syria
- New initiative Finding Common Ground offers funding for newsrooms to expand existing engagement projects
- BBC Ideas aims to inform and entertain audiences with short factual videos
- New year-long project from CNN explores the challenges women face in some of the least developed countries