It's a little thing that got my attention (the reporter down in the corner) but my imagination did the rest. It could create wonderful experience, story-related value. So... is this game actually good? And did they take advantage of the idea?
The question is what idea you mean exactly. ;) To be honest I'm not sure whether Conflict Zone is generally a good game, especially by today's standards. I loved it back then for its great visuals and huge amount of original ideas but it's quite possible that in retrospect the overall execution is bad, I'd have to play it again to give a true and honest opinion.
Anyway, to explain the thing with the reporter: in this game it's a publicly funded organization (like the original GDI) against some evil guys and the actual game is comparably serious. You regularly receive money depending on your reputation. Your reputation grows as you evacuate civilians from towns and obviously depletes whenever there's collateral damage, IIRC it also depletes if you do not provide first aid to your own wounded soldiers. That reporter in the corner provides feedback whenever something good or bad happens, additionally your AI controlled allies may communicate with you through that little screen. I don't remember how exactly the bad guys gather resources but they do have camera crews that create propaganda as they witness combat, IIRC they can actively harm the good guys' reputation. The weird part is that while the actual game is pretty serious all the cutscenes are pure comedy like movies by the Zucker guys with incredibly silly jokes. A very interesting and unique game, I really wish GOG would re-release it. Shouldn't be impossible as it was originally published by Ubisoft.
Lol, as I was writing this I remembered that I have it lying right next to me. A multilingual version was included with the German compilation Gold Games 6 which I recently picked up from my parents' place. Gotta find out whether it works on Windows 7. :D