Local News on YouTube Another Newspaper-Like Issue?

    August 3, 2009
    Chris Crum

Back in June, YouTube made a couple of announcements that indicated the most popular video site in the world was planning on taking news seriously. YouTube invited major publishers to become partners, and they also launched a new resource for citizen reporters called the YouTube Reporters’ Center.

On YouTube’s news page, there is a prominent section called "News Near You." What this provides is a selection of news stories from media outlets in your area. This apparently draws from sources that are within 100 miles of your IP address.

News Near You

Brian Stelter at the New York Times says YouTube is looking to do for local broadcast news what Google News has done for newspapers. The situation seems a little different to me.

With Google News, Google is actually driving traffic to newspaper sites through links. They are not simply republishing the articles (outside of  special deals). This of course have been very controversial itself within the industry.

Videos on YouTube however, are on YouTube. They are watched on YouTube, or wherever they are embedded (when embedding is enabled). Stelter is probably right in that this will also draw its share of controversy.

"YouTube says it is helping TV stations and its other partners by creating a new — but so far not fiscally significant — source of revenue," says Stelter. "But news media companies may have reasons to be wary. Few TV stations have figured out how replicate profits on the Internet. YouTube can easily act as another competitor."

It will be interesting to see if this situation escalates to the magnitude that the newspaper/Google News situation has. The online news industry is just getting more and more complicated isn’t it?  In other news industry-related controversy, have you seen the latest concept to come from the AP?

Tell us what you think about the YouTube news situation.