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Back in October of 2012, the people at CNN took it upon themselves to remedy the problem of low voter turnout by launching their “Change The List” campaign. The initiative noted the fact that the state of Hawaii had the lowest voter turnout during the 2008 election and set out to fix it. CNN asked people to tweet encouragements at Hawaiian voters, do stuff with Instagram and leave comments on YouTube, all in an effort to ‘convince’ random people in Hawaii to go vote.

Today, Hawaii proudly stands in 49th place in voter turnout. When CNN launched its campaign, West Virginia was 49th, so it makes sense that moving Hawaii out of that spot would, in all likelihood, drop the Mountain State into last place.

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#CTLCNN: The results are in!

This is journalism as democracy. You voted. And I’ll cover your top five picks as part of the CNN Change the List project. 

Drum roll please .. And the winners are …

1. America’s widening rich-poor gap (16,789 votes)

2. Illegal animal trade (13,276 votes)

3. Where rape is most common (12,996)

4. The world’s poorest children (12,820)

5. America’s most endangered river (12,002)

See the full list on Thanks to all who voted! 

More than 32K votes in all. So cool.


#CTLCNN leaders: Friday

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America’s widening gap between the rich and poor — and this country’s fast-disappearing sense of security and progress and economic stability — is so far the top pick among the 20 subjects I presented as part of a new project called Change the List.


Who cares about the economy? You


#CTLCNN leaders: Thursday

Voting continues until Monday at You pick it, CNN will cover it. Help us Change the List. Thanks!



You pick it, CNN will cover it

VOTE on CNN Change the List topics here. We’ve put forward 20 options. Will report on the top five you choose. 

Here’s what some people/orgs are saying on Twitter:

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Most of the twenty stories that Mr. Sutter proposed are the kinds of unsexy public interest journalism more likely found on PBS than CNN: places in the U.S. where no one has has Internet or toilet paper, countries wracked by polio and leprosy, the effects of extreme poverty on children. Mr. Sutter hopes that the audience’s engagement with the story—they chose it, after all—will lead people to get involved and work for change.

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How CNN Change the List voting works - answering some questions

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That’s how many votes CNN’s Change the List tallied as of 7:20 a.m. Voting continues through Sunday, and you can vote once per day. Pick your top five from this list of 20 stories — the country where malaria is deadliest; the place where leprosy is still a scourge; the state with the highest dropout rate; the most dangerous roads on Earth — and CNN columnist John D. Sutter will report on the five winners. 

Help us spread the word - and thanks!


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Journalism as democracy

Vote on the issues CNN columnist John D. Sutter will cover this year as part of his Change the List project. Pick five from this list of 20. He’ll start reporting on the five winners after voting closes Sunday night.

Don’t like the topics presented? Send a tweet to @jdsutter or an e-mail to ctl[at]cnn[dot]com and we’ll add it to the list of write-in candidates. CNN editors will choose the sixth Change the List topic, and that story could come from your ideas. Check out the spreadsheet with write-in topics here