We've seen the era of the "citizen journalist" expand as the tools at their disposal grow. If you have a camera and you're in the right place at the right time, you can make history on YouTube. Now, YouTube is looking to bolster its position with "new initiatives to support the discovery and verification of eyewitness news video."
YouTube is partnering with social news agency Storyful to launch the YouTub Newswire, a "curated feed of the most newsworthy eyewitness videos of the day, which have been verified by Storyful’s team of editors and are embeddable from the original sources."
The fact that anyone can upload a video to YouTube is both wonderful and potentially problematic. Over 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, and separating the "noise" from the "news" is vital – according to Storyful.
"We’ve always taken our commitments to YouTube, our newsroom clients and the uploaders we work with very seriously. Our mission has always been to mine the platform, sort the news from noise and find the stories worth telling. This, the YouTube Newswire, is the next step forward in that mission," says Storyful Managing Editor Aine Kerr in a post.
"While the platform has become noisier and more diverse, Storyful has gotten much more sophisticated in its technology, discovery, verification, acquisition and distribution of video. We’ve done extensive social sleuthing, worked with the likes of The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times on UGC documentaries that had YouTube at their heart, debunked popular YouTube videos and amplified those videos at the heart of some of the biggest news stories of recent years."
Storyful says its expertise in weeding through the muck will help YouTube Newswire succeed.
YouTube says it wants Newswire to be a tool for journalists.
"With the Newswire, we hope to provide journalists with an invaluable resource to discover news video around major events, and to highlight eyewitness video that offers new perspectives on important news stories. The Newswire will feature global and regional feeds that surface the most relevant videos in different parts of the world."
The YouTube Newswire will also have a presence on Twitter and can be delivered via daily email newsletter. Right now on the Newswire, you can see videos about the Charleston Church shooting, flooding in Texas, and the new $10 bill.
"We hope that these new projects will empower more journalists to use powerful eyewitness video easily and responsibly," says Olivia Ma, Head of Strategy and Operations at the Google News Lab.